Bears (not this one, probably) have been seen north of the Perimeter as spring has begun. 
Photo: Courtesy photo by Peupleloup
Photo: Courtesy photo by Peupleloup

Bear sightings start in North Fulton as spring blooms; here’s some tips

Bears are now waking up from their long naps north of the Perimeter.

Alpharetta posted on its Facebook page Monday warning people that “young bears are leaving their mothers and roaming North Georgia in search of new homes.”

The city of Milton posted on Facebook last week about a bear sighting in the city near the Cherokee-Forsyth county line. A mother bear and her cub were spotted in Cobb County earlier this month.

But don’t worry.

“They aren’t interested in us and our lives,” said Melissa Cummings, a spokeswoman with the wildlife division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

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Bears are like those people in the office who always seem to know about grub for grabs. “They are more than happy to take advantage of free food opportunities,” she said.

After a winter curled up in dens, black bears wake from hibernation needing nourishment.

Cummings said DNR refers people to the BearWise organization for tips about how to handle bears.

According to BearWise, male bears have home ranges of up to 300 square miles, but for female bears it’s usually no more than 50 square miles. 

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And they don’t mind traveling for food, considering they can smell a steak grilling a mile away, according to BearWise.

Cummings said people can stay safe and make their “yards as unattractive as possible to the bears, meaning there’s no easily accessible food,” with the following tips:

1. Don’t feed or approach bears

2. Secure food, garbage and recycling

3. Remove bird feeders and loose bird feed this time of year

4. Don’t leave pet food outdoors

5. Clean and store grills

6. Alert neighbors to bear activity

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For some, the sightings are unsettling, but other neighbors say they enjoy seeing video of the bear visiting.

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