The bears of Horry County receive a lot attention, and as of this month, new ones are on their way.
As spring inches closer, the baby black bears of Horry County are being born. January and February are when a whole new class of Horry black bears will be welcomed to the area.
The black bear can be found in various regions of South Carolina. They’re actually the largest mammal living in South Carolina, and the newborn bears can grow to be 350 pounds in weight, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website.
The bears are not strangers to residents. During the summer, they’re regularly seen looking for snacks in Carolina Forest neighborhoods. The animals have a great sense of smell. While they can eat meat, it’s not the biggest portion of their diets. Bears are “opportunistic eaters,” according to National Geographic, eating mostly grasses, roots, berries and insects.
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The bears born in 2019 will be around for a while, too. A healthy cub can live up to 18 years.
They’re most active during the mating season in June and July, which is also when a lot of the residential sightings happen.
One of the reasons bears are being seen more in neighborhoods is due to habitat loss. The bears of Carolina Forest were there before the people of Carolina Forest.
If you see a bear, experts recommend leaving it alone. If the bear keeps coming, try to identify any potential bear attractants and remove them. This can include trash cans or bird feeders.
“If you remove that attractant, the bear will move on,” bear expert Kayla Brantley said in July.
Never intentionally feed the bears. Not only is it illegal to do so, but it will only keep attracting them to the spots they previously found food.
As the summer comes back around, if you see a bear in a residential area, you can call the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to report it. While not every sighting needs to be reporting, and typically SCDNR will not respond to just one bear being out, the department does decide if any future efforts are warranted.