Woman comes face to face with bear in Lancaster County

Credit: Willy Hargett

Woman comes face to face with bear in Lancaster County

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by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 28 at 6:00 PM

KERSHAW, S.C. -- A mother came face to face with a black bear Friday morning in Kershaw.

It's at least the fourth time this week a black bear has been spotted in the greater Charlotte area. Locations include Cabarrus, Union and Lancaster counties.

Friday, it was on East Sumpter Street in Kershaw.

Carter Baytes, 11, woke up to the sound of his mother screaming. She'd just come face to face with the bear when she opened the back door of her house to let out the dog. It was standing on the back porch. The mother, who doesn't want to be identified, says the bear's face was less than two feet from hers.

"I go into the kitchen so I can find the bear, and it's right in our backyard. Like bam, there it is," Baytes said.

It walked around and climbed trees. Neighbors took pictures. The animal quickly became the talk of the town. 

Deputies tried to shoot it down and get it moving. It was not being aggressive and not harming anyone.

It stayed in Baytes's yard for about an hour, then climbed down, climbed over a fence and walked past their front door.

It tore part of their fence down while searching for a way out of the yard.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is not tracking it. Wildlife biologists say the bear will likely leave the area on its own and is afraid of people.

The DNR also says this is the time of year when adult bears force their offspring to leave and find their new homes, which explains bear sightings.

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