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Why are we seeing more black bears in the Triad?

The NC Wildlife Commission said more black bears in our area is normal and a good thing.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Here's something catching the attention of many people across the Triad, there have been several bear sightings recently. 

The latest one was near I-40 and Gallimore Dairy Road. 

Encountering a bear in the wild can be terrifying or exciting. Since April, we've had at least five reports of black bear sightings here in the Triad. 

While it may seem we've had more bear activity in more urban areas recently, today we talked with a North Carolina Wildlife expert Falyn Owens, about what could be causing this increase in black bear activity. 

"Historically we did have a situation that many years ago where we had very few bears in NC, and we were working very hard to protect them and make sure they weren't going to disappear. Today those conservation efforts have been very successful and we have a very healthy robust bear population," Owens said. 

In just three short months, we've had reports of black bear sightings in King, Kernersville, High Point, Stokesdale, and now Greensboro.

"This is the time of year that bears are going off on their own after getting old enough that they don't have to stick around with mom anymore. Most of the sightings we see in Piedmont are these younger, usually male bears that are dispersing off to find a territory of their own that is far away from anyone that they might be related to," Owens said. 

Owens wants it to be abundantly clear, if you have a bear encounter, it's OK to admire them, but make sure you do it from a distance.

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