Small black bear spotted in Sandy Springs

A small, black bear was spotted twice Wednesday in Sandy Springs.

The animal was seen in the Spalding Drive and Hunters Branch Road area, near Peachtree Dunwoody Road, police said.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has been notified. Anyone that sees the bear is asked to call 911.

The bear sighting was only the latest in the metro Atlanta area this year.

On July 21, motorists along Sugarloaf Parkway in Gwinnett County faced an unusual traffic jam when a bear was struck and killed by a vehicle. The black bear was hit before 8 a.m. near Old Peachtree Road, in front of Sugarloaf Country Club.

In June, three bears were reported struck by vehicles in a 10-day period across Georgia – in Hall, Harris and Liberty counties.

In late March, residents of west Cobb County were warned to watch out for a black bear that was seen on a trail camera eating bird feed in the backyard of house around Due West Road near the West Hampton Subdivision.

No conflicts with humans have been reported thus far, but police have advised residents to keep pets leashed, temporarily take down bird feeders, take in food and store garbage in an inaccessible area. Bears will normally move on to other feeding areas if left alone, police said.

More information about bears in Georgia is available on this state Department of Natural Resources website. Georgia has an estimated bear population of at least 5,100.

--Dispatch editor David Ibata contributed to this article.