It may seem like a strange and even scary sight, a real bear roaming through neighborhoods and backyards. However, it's actually all too common around the area this time of year.
"Bears are changing locations, young bears are looking for a new habitat where they can establish dominance, a lot of the other bears are trying to establish a food source," said Sgt. Kenneth Dove from the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Recently, a black bear cub paid a visit to a few backyards along Shelby Drive on May 19, Thursday afternoon. Officials say this one probably isn't the only bear wandering around. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries now averages about five bear sighting calls a day in the county.
"Albemarle is a normal habitat for bears and they've always just naturally occur here," said Dove.
Others add that the increasing human population in the area also plays a role.
"I do think that poorly planned development is increasingly encroaching on wildlife habitat in rural and wilderness areas," said David Phemister of the Nature Conservancy.
Phemister believes it has to do with making better choices. "The decisions we make in the next few years really are going to have a dramatic impact on the sort of landscapes and in turn the sort of wildlife populations that future generations are going to be able to enjoy," he explained.
It seems that Shelby Drive residents did in fact enjoy seeing their furry visitor. Most were in awe rather than in fear.
" It really doesn't bother me," said Shelby resident, Charles Duff. " He didn't look all that dangerous."
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.