NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Videos of a bear roaming around North Little Rock are the talk around the town. Several people are asking if they should pause any outside activity or grin and bear it.
The first sighting was near the intersection of Lakeview Road and Fairway Avenue shortly after 1:00 A.M. Tuesday. What’s believed to be the same bear traveled south to the Park Hill neighborhood.
People living there say they never would have expected a creature like this creature so close. The clicking of the bear’s claws on the cement was almost as frightening as the bear’s size.
“They’re nice to look at through a window or a cage, but I wouldn’t want to walk up on one,” said George Rozzell lives down the street from one of the sightings.
He said if he would have come across the bear, he would have gone locked and up inside which is exactly what Arkansas Game and Fish advise to do.
Keith Stephens is AGFC’s chief of communications. He reminds everyone Arkansas was once known as the bear state and is currently home to over 5,000 bears
According to Stephens, every year around May, yearling bears leave their mother’s den to find their own place, and even the city to them is fair game.
“They really don’t know how to take of themselves at this point. Mom has taken care of them this whole time, so they’re just learning,” Stephens stated.
He also said the young black bears are usually very skittish and usually run away from loud or aggressive people and animals. The only reason why they’re coming around is for a free meal.
As Stephens described, “Just going out for an easy meal, going through a trash can, going through pet food, going through a bird feeder, something of that nature.”
So, once you take that away from them, usually the problem goes away too, and if the bear does disturb your property or is not afraid, take George Rozell’s advice. Tuck tail and call a wildlife officer to respond before things get grizzly.
According to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the black bear caught in the video did not disturb any properly and has not been captured and relocated to a more rural area.
Common practice is to tag female bears, not males as this one is suspected to be, so the state can locate dens and count populations with each newborn generation.