You may find a dog, opossum, or even a raccoon in your backyard but what one local woman found is little more dangerous. A Harrison resident opened her back door to find a black bear wandering through her neighborhood. She lives on Cedar Cove Lane off Ramsey Road.

A black bear peeked its nose in one Harrison Bay community this week. Stacy Kelly captured the bear playing in her neighbor's backyard, a frightful sight in her River Cove development. “I thought it was a joke. You know you don't expect to see a bear. Is it a dog that looks like a bear? Am I seeing things?” said Stacy Kelly.

It is a little too close for comfort for Kelly. Her grandson plays where the bear was spotted. “They go in the back yard and you're concerned about how to keep all of them safe and what to do next. Kind of on edge.”

Kelly says the bear walked around for a few minutes, crossed the street and then went back into the woods. “I am not at the park, not in the mountains, not in the country. I am in a residential area.”

With rising temperatures, park rangers say it is common for bears to be out. They say bears will travel in search of food. They recommend cleaning up anything that may attract bears or other animals. “Everyone is on the watch. Taking safety precautions. Taking down bird feeders, and hummingbird feed, keeping stuff in so we don't attract him,” said one neighbor, Christine Combs.
Unless the bear becomes an immediate danger wildlife officers will not tranquilize it and move it out of the area. They say the best thing to do is leave the animal alone and keep your distance. If the bear comes closer than desired, rangers suggest making noise to scare it.  “We have a nice dog to protect us, and a privacy fence. We feel pretty safe about it,” said Combs.

Contact the TWRA if you have a similar bear sighting. For more information click here.