Black bear spotted by residents in Butts County, caution urged

Courtesy of Butts County Sheriff's Office

A black bear has been making its way through the Fincherville Road and Buster Brown Road area in Butts County, causing a stir among local residents. The bear was last seen Tuesday morning in a driveway on Buster Brown Road, heading towards Old Bethel Road, according to Butts County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office reached out to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), who said that such sightings are not unusual. According to the DNR, bears often travel through this region, moving from the North Georgia mountains to the bear populations south of Macon.

The DNR has stated that they will not take action unless the bear becomes a nuisance. In the meantime, they advise residents to avoid leaving dog food or other attractants outside, as this can draw bears into populated areas. The bear is expected to move on as it searches for food and encounters other bears.

Residents are urged to remain cautious and report any further sightings to local authorities to ensure the safety of both the community and the bear.

There are approximately 5,000 adult black bears in the state of Georgia. They are mostly found in the North Georgia mountains, the Ocmulgee River drainage and the Okefenokee Swamp. Only black bears are found in Georgia. 

According to National Park Service, black bear attacks are rare occurrences. There is an average of one fatal black bear attack in North America every year. 

NPS says that if you are attacked by a black bear, do not play dead. Try to escape to a secure place or fight back if that is not possible. Use any object available. Concentrate your kicks and blows to the bear's face and muzzle.

"If it's brown, lay down. If it's black, fight back."

If you are attacked by a brown/grizzly bear, play dead. Lay flat on your stomach with your hands clasped behind your neck. Spread your legs to make it harder for the bear to turn you over. Remain still until the bear leaves the area.