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Bear roams Duck, as Outer Banks town warns people to keep pets and children inside

The town of Duck on the Outer Banks advised tourists and residents on Thursday to keep close watch on their children and pets or keep them indoors until this black bear was found or wandered off.
The town of Duck on the Outer Banks advised tourists and residents on Thursday to keep close watch on their children and pets or keep them indoors until this black bear was found or wandered off. Screen capture

A black bear traipsing surf side in the Outer Banks on Thursday joined man-o-wars, copperheads and sharks as the latest threat from the wild to beachgoers along the Carolinas coast.

The town of Duck urged residents and visitors to "closely supervise" their children and pets or keep them inside until the bear is caught or wanders off.

"It is also a good idea to secure trash completely inside trash cans.," the town posted on Facebook.

"If you see the bear, please do not approach," the town advised. Instead , report sightings to Dare County Dispatch at 252-473-3444.

At 7 p.m., the town said the bear had not been seen again since morning.

"We hope it found its way back home," the town posted on Facebook..

Meanwhile, in the popular coastal community of Sullivan’s Island near Charleston, tourists are being warned about Portuguese men-of-war, both in the water and on the beach.

Men-of-war are venomous and infamous for their extremely painful sting.

Sharks also remain a threat.

A 10-year-old boy became the latest victim of a shark attack along the coast on May 13 in Hilton Head. The boy and his older brother were splashing in waist-deep water when the shark bit his right forearm, his mom Tonya Turrell told the Island Packet. The boy suffered heavy blood loss but survived.

The Carolinas are two of the top five states for most shark attacks in the U.S., the (Raleigh) News & Observer reported this week. But statistics show the chance of being attacked is low. You are more likely to die of a lightning strike than a shark attack in the United States, according to the newspaper.

North Carolina's 33 shark attacks from 2007-16 ranked the state No. 4., tied with California, for most attacks in the country, according to the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida. South Carolina's 51 attacks ranked No. 3 behind Hawaii and Florida, the newspaper reported.

And let's not forget the copperhead, always a threat in coastal communities and most elsewhere across the Carolinas.

Warming weather means the start of the snake-bite season in the South Carolina Lowcountry and elsewhere, with residents warned to be on particular alert for copperheads..

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067; @jmarusak
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