GRIFTON - The black bear was spotted roaming around downtown Grifton near Lil Tots Daycare Center.
The latest sighting has neighbors living in the area concerned for their safety.
Debra Hardy, owner of Lil Tots Development Center and Lil Tots Nursery couldn't agree more.
"This is kinda close to home. It's just kinda scary you know being here for 22 years and I've never seen a bear in the area of Grifton," Hardy said.
According to police reports, the most recent sighting was in late June near Grifton School. However, when officers got to the area the bear was no longer at the school. A man living nearby began to yell and dogs started barking. The owner of the home told police his German Shepherd dog bit the bear causing it to run off in the woods.
The bear was later spotted near Lil Tots Nursery before it headed through an irrigation pond and into the woods.
Sheronda Forbes, an employee at the daycare center, said she recently saw a bear for the first time near Ayden. She said it was a scary situation seeing one that close-up.
"All I know is they attack. That's all I know from TV. So, yeah that's a scary thing. And then for the daycare to be in this area and [the bear] is on the loose. We could have kids on the playground and [ the bear] could come through," Forbes said.
The bear was last spotted near Pitt Street.
N.C. Wildlife Official, Robbie Norville, said it's important to not approach a bear if you see one. The best idea is to remain calm and back away slowly.
Norville said over 86% of a bear's diet is made up of vegetation so if you leave food out--whether it's meat or not---the bear will likely eat it.
Also, if a bear stands on its hind legs this is not a sign of aggressive behavior. Norville said the bear is just trying to see whatever is in front of it more clearly.
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