Bear pictured in Charlotte neighborhood prompts alert. ‘All neighbors, be aware.’

A Charlotte homeowners association issued an alert Friday after a bear visited its wooded neighborhood near Mallard Creek Greenway.

“All neighbors, be aware,” the Wellington HOA in northeast Charlotte warned in an email.

The Charlotte Observer obtained a copy of the email, which included what the HOA said was a photo of a bear in woods near a homeowner’s outdoor deck.

Where the bear was spotted

The bear appears to be a young male black bear.

A neighbor spotted the bear near Saxonbury Way, and another resident reported the bear near Garden Grove Lane in the subdivision, according to the HOA.

“911 was called, to notify in interest of public safety etc.,” the HOA said in the email.

The HOA mentioned no reports of the bear being a nuisance. That’s about the only time a state Wildlife officer would respond, N.C. Wildlife Resources Officer Sampson Parker has said.

On Saturday, Parker said he “would be fairly confident” the bear was the same one that people reported swimming across Lake Norman last month.

Those sightings were about 15 miles west of Friday’s report in northeast Charlotte, a hop, skip and jump in bear travel terms.

The Lake Norman bear was likely the black bear spotted in western Mecklenburg a couple of weeks later, Parker previously told the Observer.

“Unfortunately, it’s sticking around,” Parker said Saturday. “I’ve never known one to stay this long,” and he’s stumped as to why.

Most young male bears seen in the region over the decades were merely passing through this time of year, he said.

Young male bears search for territories to claim that are far more vast and isolated than the Charlotte area, he said. They typically end up at the coast or in the mountains.

Parker said that unlike grizzlies and other brown bears, black bears are not likely to attack humans. The bears run away when they pick up a person’s scent, he said.

“They look big and bad, but they’re not known to be aggressive animals,” he said.

Keeping bears from your yard

Leaving trash out overnight can attract bears to your yard, and so can feed left in bird feeders, wildlife experts say. So don’t do it.

Also be sure to clean your grill, and avoid leaving candles and anything else with a scent outside or near open windows, advises.

Black bear attacks on humans “are rare,” as the bears “are seldom aggressive,” according to, which the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission links to on its black bear site.

Stay still if you see a bear before the animal spots you, BearWise advises.

Admire the bear, then walk quietly away, according to the site.

If a bear sees you, never run, BearWise urges. Instead, “back away slowly in the opposite direction and wait for the bear to leave,” according to the site.

Keep your dog leashed during walks, according to BearWise.