Meredith Cullen installed several bird feeders in her Grovetown backyard because she enjoys the wildlife they attract.
On Friday, though, an unexpected guest arrived for a snack.
Cullen said that just before 1 p.m., she discovered a black bear lapping water from her bird bath and then pulling down a bird feeder to feast on its sunflower seeds before taking a short nap.
"It was quite a treat," said Cullen, an animal-lover whose High Green Court home backs up to woods surrounding Euchee Creek near Wrightsboro Road.
The young male black bear is believed to be the same one spotted for about a week -- from Thomson on Thursday to Grovetown on Friday and in Augusta, along Wrightsboro Road Sunday evening, said Vic VanSant, the supervisor of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Region 3 Game Management Division.
The 125-to-200-pound bear is likely one from the north Georgia mountains or the Okefenokee Swamp in south Georgia. Such bears are searching for their own territory, VanSant said.
Cullen said she called Columbia County Animal Care and Control, which referred her to DNR, which is trying to monitor the bear's movements.
"Coming from Pennsylvania, I didn't realize how rare it actually was," Cullen said.
The bear went after a second bird feeder, which Cullen received as a housewarming present from her mother, so she opened her back door and yelled at it. He wandered into the woods and is believed to have been sighted several times since Friday along Wrightsboro Road near Jimmie Dyess Parkway and behind Miyabi Kyoto Japanese Steak House on Augusta West Parkway on Sunday evening.
VanSant said residents should avoid the bear and call DNR.
"If you see it, we should probably know," VanSant said. "Try to stay away from it."
Scaring the young bear could drive it into a road where it could be hit by a car, VanSant said.
As long as the bear continues moving, DNR personnel will simply monitor its progress, VanSant said. If the bear gets trapped in a populated area, they'll probably try to trap and relocate him.
"As long as he's moving, there's not a lot you can do," VanSant said.
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