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Have bears been in the city before?

Mike Voorheis

A reader snapped this picture of a bear at Topsail Beach in June 1995.

Q. What is a bear doing in Wilmington? Sunday night driving down Market Street about 11 p.m. Forrest Hills I almost hit a bear. Have bears been in the city before?

The bear spotted in Wilmington last week is a rare sighting, but not unheard of. That bear was spotted in Landfall, then Princess Place Drive and in different parts of Carolina Place, according to 911 calls.

Wildlife expert Jimmy English said a 300-pound bear spent five days in a tree on Fairlawn Avenue in 2011.

In 2010, a black bear visited Carolina Beach. In the article the StarNews ran then, wildlife officials said stable bear populations exist in Brunswick, Pender and Columbus counties and that juvenile bears tend to wander.

The article by Ken Little also says: “Visits by bears to populated sections of the region are not unprecedented. A black bear ambled through the Creekwood development in Wilmington one day about 15 years ago, and there was a large adult bear who spent some time on Topsail Island around the same time.”

A black bear was also spotted in Landfall in 2009, according to this article. The article said a bear was also seen in the Monkey Junction area that year.

This article from 2005 by Victoria Rouch about a bear being hit by a vehicle near Rocky Point mentions bears being spotted in Wilmington in 2001 and 2003: “In 2001, a young black bear led police and wildlife officials on a chase through the center of the city, and in 2003 a bear cub was spotted wandering around in the Greenville Village neighborhood.”


Were the black bear or alligator that visited Carolina Beach in the summer of 2010 ever spotted again?  

The monkey question: Why were there Pender County deputies at Camelia Drive in Rocky Point on April 24?

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