Bear spotted along Woodleaf Road

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 20, 2011

By Karissa Minn
SALISBURY — A black bear standing at least 6 feet tall was spotted tonight near the 2200 block of Woodleaf Road in Salisbury.
Just before 8 p.m., the Salisbury Police Department got a call reporting a bear sighting at Holly Leaf Apartments, located off Woodleaf Road near U.S. 601 and U.S. 70. The caller said the animal was standing in a dumpster with its head out over the side.
When police responded, Sgt. Mark Hunter said, they saw the bear alongside Woodleaf Road. The officers were well-armed, Hunter said, but only for their protection.
“I’ve already told my officers that this is not a bear hunting expedition,” Hunter said. “Under no circumstances will we take aggressive action against the animal. Unless it becomes aggressive toward human beings, we will not take any action at all.”
Wildlife officials told police that there is no need to call out a biologist to sedate the animal with tranquilizers unless it becomes a danger.
Hunter said the bear is likely looking for food, and it will move on from the area once it finds nothing more to eat.
Officers informed apartment residents about the animal through loudspeakers and advised them to take all pet food inside to avoid attracting it. He said people should be mindful of their pets but doesn’t think the bear would harm them.
Hunter said anyone who sees the bear should avoid it at all costs, because it won’t hurt people unless aggravated.
“As long as people leave him alone, he’ll go away,” Hunter said. “The bear is most likely just hungry.”
To report a new sighting of the black bear, call the Salisbury Police Department at 704-638-5333.