Residents report bear in neighborhood

Jul. 01, 2013 @ 08:50 PM

Tom Robinson had an unwelcome visitor to his High Point property early Monday.
The Haley’s Way resident said he saw a black bear in his yard about 3:30 a.m. When he woke up to get a drink of water, he noticed the house’s motion-sensitive lights on outside. He shined a flashlight out his window and spotted what he described as a 100- to 125-pound bear poking at one of his bird feeders.
Robinson said he’s certain it was a bear.
He didn’t have his camera handy, but he said the animal was 10 to 12 feet away from him and that he watched it for about a minute. He left his vantage point to wake up his wife, but when he returned, the animal was gone.
“He had twisted two poles that the bird feeders were on to the ground and managed to get the food out of both of them,” said Robinson. “We have raccoons all the time getting into the bird feeders, but never a bear.”
Robinson and his wife, Linda, live on the edge of Lindale Farm off Deep River Road.
The 130-acre farm property includes vast wooded areas, open space, a creek and is bordered to the north by the Deep River. The couple learned later Monday that the bear apparently damaged the home of one of their neighbors shortly before wandering on to their property.
Tim Kay, who lives on Lindale Farm, said he was awakened about 3 a.m. by a loud noise and heard hornets buzzing outside his house. He walked out to find a board ripped off the porch.
Kay said he thinks the same bear pulled the board off because it picked up the scent of the larvae of the hornets that were nesting under the porch. He didn’t see the animal, but said there’s nothing else that could have wrought such damage.
“It was a strong piece of yellow pine with two strong nails,” said Kay. “I couldn’t have pulled it off with my bare hands. I would have had to use a hammer and a crowbar.”
As word got around Monday, neighbors learned of another possible incident, this one involving a bear sighting on Hickory Lane, in the same vicinity, on Saturday night, said Lindale Farms owner Harriet Mattes.
High Point police Capt. Tom Hanson said he was not aware of any recent calls to police reporting bear sightings in the city.
Last month, a Greensboro police officer shot video of a bear crossing a street in that city, and, in May, a black bear cub was found at N.C. A&T State University. Also in May, two bear sightings were reported in Winston-Salem.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission typically does not attempt to trap or tranquilize bears in urban areas unless they are a threat to people. The commission advises the removal of attractants like bird feeders, pet food and unsecured garbage.
Mattes echoed this and said she was trying to get the word out to her neighbors about a matter of public safety.
“Small pets need to go inside, and remove the buffet,” Mattes said. “I’ve done plenty of camping around bears and they’re not a problem as long as you stay out of their way and don’t feed them.”