3 more bear sightings reported south of Charlotte


Three more bear sightings were reported last weekend south of the state line in eastern Lancaster County, S.C., adding more proof that they’re living comfortably in the highly populated Charlotte area.

The first was spotted Friday night in the Tradesville community by a man named Jimmy Deese, who captured the bear’s photo on a trail camera in woods near his home, reports the Lancaster News.

“I’m not scared of much, but when I go back there now, I got my .45 by my side,” Deese told the Lancaster News.

The Lancaster News says a bear was also spotted Sunday in the Antioch community in Lancaster County, and another was reported Monday afternoon in the Heath Springs area on U.S. 521. The latter was near a school bus maintenance shop, it was reported.

Experts say smaller, younger male bears can be pushed out of their home areas during this time by bigger male bears. While bear populations are usually found in the mountains and coast, wildlife biologists say they can disperse 100 miles away or more before they leave if no female bears are around.

There have been multiple bear sightings in the Union County area, just north of Lancaster County, since May. Neighbors have reported seeing them in Waxhaw and Matthews.

Even closer to Charlotte, a bear was struck by a vehicle June 1 on Interstate 485. Observer news partner WBTV reported motorist Kaleb Romero hit the bear and crashed May 31, just before 10:30 p.m. It happened on Interstate 485 near Exit 57, the Providence Road exit.

The bear ran into nearby woods after being hit, WBTV reported.