Neighbors concerned after string of bear sightings across Gwinnett County

BUFORD, Ga. — Josh Garrett and his fiancé Kelsey Locklear have seen them with their own eyes. Black bears.

“We’ve had a couple by our house. We’ve seen them in the backyard, and I think that’s pretty cool,” Garrett said.

Channel 2 Action News has gotten videos of two of them spotted in the Buford area of Gwinnett County, both from last week.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources believes it’s the same bear.

“He crossed I-85 at least twice successfully,” DNR Urban Wildlife Manager Kaitlin Goode said.

Goode told Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen that he was also spotted outside a Norcross business last month.

Last Friday, a bear was hit by a car in the same general area and had to be euthanized.

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“He was a smart little bear. It was impressive. I hope he wasn’t the one that got hit, but it’s one of those things that does happen,” Goode said.

Josh Garrett said there’s plenty of wooded areas around Buford for a bear, but also lots of crowded highways.

“They’re very beneficial to the environment, truthfully. It’s just a shame they get caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Garrett said.

DNR says if the bear sightings suddenly stop in the Buford area, it’s likely the animal they were tracking is the one that unfortunately was hit by a car.