MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) - Creola resident Roland Hayes said a bear shows up behind his home almost every night. Hayes is worried the bear could cause trouble for his two children. Also, the bears health appears to be declining.
It all started a couple of weeks ago when Hayes spotted the black bear cub at his Creola home on Hall Branch Road.
"We talked to the police department, we talked to the conservation department, they instructed us to just shoo it off,” said Hayes. “Well, it seems like it's just about got used to humans. It'll run 10 or 12 feet and look back to see if you're pursuing it and it stops. Once we run it in the woods and go back inside, 20 to 30 minutes later it comes back again."
Hayes said he's seen the bear at his home multiple times over the last couple of weeks. He said the bear seems to look sicklier every time he sees it.
Wildlife officials said that they don’t usually treat wild bears, and it’s best to let nature run its course.
"Just because someone in the public makes an assumption based on the appearance or behavior that it's sick, it may not be,” said District Five Wildlife Supervisor Steve Barnett of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “We usually do not try to relocate bears unless they've become a nuisance because they have an excellent homing instinct. Even if you trap it and move it to another part of the state, they will often come back to their home area."
Hayes said he's talked to wildlife officials about the bear several times, but they've told him nothing could be done except remove bird feeders and other feeding sources from his yard.
He said he's worried that the bear could pose a threat to his child with special needs.
"No authority is wanting to do anything about it,” said Hayes. “It just seems logical; seems to make sense to just put it somewhere where it's safe, secure, can get the attention it needs, get back to good health, and then put it in a natural environment where it can thrive and not be endangered where it is now."
"If the food source is eliminated, then the bear is eventually going to go back to their habitat,” explained Barnett. “Now if the bear becomes aggressive, that's a different situation, and those are the kinds we need to know about and take measures whether it's tranquilizing and moving the bear somewhere else or euthanasia is a last resort."
Officials said if you see a bear in your back yard, never approach it or feed it. If you have bird or deer feeders in your back yard, take them down and contact the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Immediately if you see a bear in your area.
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