Black Bear Sightings In Hillsborough

A number of black bear sightings in Hillsborough have Orange County Emergency Services on alert.

ABC11 reports sightings have been reported at Lawrence Road and US 70, Churton Street and US 70, and Churton Street and Mayo. Dispatchers began receiving calls Monday evening.

Officials say they aren’t sure if the sightings have been of one bear or multiple bears.

Anyone who sees a bear should not approach it and should call 911 immediately.

Orange County Now Providing Animal Services In Carrboro

CARRBORO – Orange County Animal Services will now be providing animal control for the Town of Carrboro, where animal control was previously handled by town police.

The change will take effect July 1. Carrboro police captain and future chief of police, Walter Horton, explains that the time seemed right to make the switch.

“We used to have an animal control officer, and we no longer have that officer,” Horton says. “It is something that we felt made sense, since they already cover Chapel Hill.”

Director of Orange County Animal Services, Bob Marotto, says that Carrboro’s previous system of enforcing animal control made it an outlier among the towns in the county.

“I think that there has been an interest in having integrated and coordinated animal services provided by our department for the whole county,” Marotto says.

In the past, Orange County Animal Services had been called to Carrboro in the event of an outstanding animal incident.

Carrboro police and Orange County Animal Services note the multiple reported coyote sightings in Orange County and near Carrboro recently. However, there are note any outstanding issues like that currently.

One incident that Marotto remembers in particular was a family of coyotes in Carrboro near Hogan Farms that had offspring.

“They had become unfearful of people,” Marotto says. “They were closer to people than people were comfortable with.”

Horton says there have even been coyote sightings in the past months.

“Out in the northern areas, up near Sunset Creek and the old 86 area, we have two or three around there,” Horton says. “They’ve been following citizens while they walk their dogs.”

Three reports of bear sightings were made this week, but Marotto says the change is unrelated to the recent sightings in Carrboro.

Bear Sighted, Confirmed By Carrboro Police

An American black bear, not the one sighted in Carrboro. Photo courtesy of DaBler.

CARRBORO – Carrboro Police confirm that there is at least one black bear moving south across the town after three separate reports of bear sightings in the last two days.

Carrboro police lieutenant Chris Atack says no police officials have reported seeing the bear, but the reported sightings are consistent.

“On our side, we’re pretty confident it is a black bear,” Atack says.

As of 10:30 a.m., the bear was seen near Smith Level Road. Based on previous sightings, Atack says he believes the bear is headed south.

“I don’t know if it’s the same bear or not, but we would hope it would be the same bear and it’s headed for a less populated area,” Atack says.

Black bears are typically not hostile, according to Atack, but residents should keep their distance and avoid attracting or taming the bear.

“Eliminate food sources that are left outside your house; avoid feeding your animals outside or leaving food unattended,” Atack says. “All of those can attract bears.”

Animal control has been called, but they tend to allow bears to leave on their own. Atack says black bears are only relocated when they become problematic, like when they become used to humans feeding them and begin to approach people.

A pamphlet from the N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission on how to interact around bears: CoexistWithBears