Metro area residents might need to be on the lookout for black bears. 

In an Aug. 23 Facebook post, the Dunwoody Police Department noted that an officer reported seeing a black bear on N. Peachtree Road near Saffron Drive around 8 p.m. 

“If you see a black bear, do not encounter it,” reads the post. “Just give it some space and it will move along.”

According to a press release from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division, female bears tend to increase food intake around this time of year, and might venture outside of their usual range to prepare for winter. 

“It’s not uncommon for human-bear conflicts to intensify in late summer, as bears have been ‘trained’ and ‘educated’ all summer long about finding food around homes and neighborhoods where unsecured bear attractants often abound,” says Adam Hammond, WRD state bear biologist, in the release. “Denying bears a free meal and forcing them to look elsewhere in their search for food is still the best course of action – for people and for the bears.”

BearWise, an education program developed by state bear biologists, provides tips for what to do if you encounter a black bear on your property. According to BearWise, you should make loud noises from a safe distance to scare the bear away. 

BearWise also offers tips on how to make trash cans more bear resistant, and other measures for keeping bears away. More information can be found on BearWise’s website. 

Writer and Journalist Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.