GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - Got bird feeders in your backyard? Officials with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says you could also be bringing in black bears along with the birds.
SCDNR says the summer season is when our ursine friends are on the move, and they're moving up river systems like the Reedy River for breeding and finding food. In fact, SCDNR tells FOX Carolinas the creatures have been spotted near Mauldin Road, Pelham Road, near Furman University, and in Travelers Rest, to name a few sightings. FOX Carolina viewer Vivian Lindsey spotted bears Sunday morning near Highway 101 and Jordan Road, near Blue Ridge.
Officials say they're fond of bird feeders, pet food, and trash left out, and they will be attracted to areas where easy food sources are in paw's reach.
While a black bear's presence isn't inherently a problem - and most move on after a quick munch - SCDNR still says neighbors should take down bird feeders and keep them down, while also keeping pet food inside and disposing of trash quickly.
SCDNR also says you should keep your grills clean and covered to keep food odors from attracting bears. Beekeepers with beehives nearby should protect their investments with an electric, bear-proof fence.
Finally, SCDNR reminds people to never feed the bears; they are still wild animals to be respected. Black bears are usually shy, evasive, and non-aggressive, but still must be treated with caution.