CAMPOBELLO, S.C. (WSPA) — Bears are on the prowl at a time when they’re supposed to be in hibernation.
Officials with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) say warm weather brings bears out to find food.
A mother and her three cubs were recently spotted in Campobello. Their visit excited the Bright family.
Missy Bright said they began seeing the bears early Saturday morning after the snow and said the bears have returned every night since then.
Tom Swayngham with the DNR tracks bear activity in the Upstate.
He says the bears are searching for food.
If you encounter a bear, Swayngham said it’s important to keep your distance.
He said bears aren’t aggressive 99 percent of the time and naturally fear people.
“If you’ll just keep your distance and slowly back away from them, you’ll be fine,” he said. “The big objective is to remove food sources from around your residence.”
The Bright family has removed dog food, as well as food from their many bird feeders and even sunflower seeds. However, the mama bear and her cubs have shown up three days in a row.
“I know they’re not after me, they’re just after food. We just have to make sure that when we go outside that one is not standing there,” Missy said. She said they’re also keeping their dogs indoors.
Swayngham says pets may help keep the bears away.
“Bears are not a threat to your animals. I don’t know of the situation where we’ve had them go after chickens or anything else and they will run from dogs almost always.”