Raleigh, N.C. — If you’re looking to see some wildlife in the Triangle, you might only need to step out into your backyard. Sightings of bears, coyotes, deer, foxes, rabbits, raccoons are becoming more common, officials said.
It’s not odd to see baby bears in North Carolina cities in summer months, according to wildlife officials. The state’s black bear population has been increasing over the past several years in central North Carolina.
From May to July, bear cubs separate from their mothers and search for new homes.
“While the bears appear to be wandering aimlessly into places people think bears do not belong, they are not necessarily lost,” according to officials with the North Carolina Wildlife Commission.
A bear was found napping a tree above UNC Rex hospital on Tuesday, and residents reporting sighting a bear in the suburbs of North Hills in Raleigh in May.
There’s an explanation for why animals are showing up in suburban areas — food. Wildlife researchers say that people are feeding the creatures, leading to an increase in sightings.
These animals are finding gardens to munch on and taking shelter in backyards.
North Carolina State University Researchers said that animals and humans usually co-exist quite well in Triangle suburbs. Researchers found that wildlife was more prominent in suburban areas, versus rural ones.
Another animal commonly spotted in North Carolina is the white-tailed deer.
Our state’s deer population has been growing since the 1990s after conservation efforts. In cities, where hunting is less common, the deer population is growing. In May, a deer was found running through the streets of downtown Raleigh, even making its way into a gift shop.
Crashes with deer and other wildlife has been on the rise over the past several years as a result.
Officials say if you see any wildlife and i’ts not bothering you, leave it alone.
A look back at NC’s runaway animals
Animal control has been busy in North Carolina over the past several years. We’ve had our fair share of animals running away from their owners. Most recently, a pack of Wolf-German Shepherd hybrids escaped from their home in Orange County, and have yet to be found.
A venomous zebra cobra was set loose from a home in Raleigh, making national news. The cobra’s owner is now facing 40 charges related to housing snakes.
Famously in 2019, an emu was spotted in July running around in Orange County. Officials were not sure where it came from, though it is legal to own emus in the county.
A year before that, a runaway horse escaped from its owner in Wake Forest. In 2017, a small pig was spotted on Interstate 40 near Brier Creek was safely captured by officials.
This post originally posted here usnews