Bear seen in Martinez house

Monday, June 16, 2014 10:46 AM
Last updated 6:31 PM
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A wandering black bear has caused a stir of conversation for locals after being spotted at a Washington Road car dealership and breaking into a Columbia County home looking for a quick meal.

  Special/ Eloisae Cheatham Patterson.
Special/ Eloisae Cheatham Patterson.

The Department of Natural Resources and Columbia County sheriff’s deputies were called to a home on Stardust Drive around 10 p.m. Sunday after the bear was spotted in the sunroom of a residence.

“We take it very seriously when bears enter any dwelling,” said Lee Taylor, game management regional supervisor at DNR.

Taylor said it appears the bear slipped in through a sliding glass door that had been left open in search of food but then left causing no damage to the home.

The bear has been spotted in several other locations in Richmond and Columbia counties, including being caught on camera at a car dealership on Washington Road near Warren Road.

Eloisae Patterson said she and her two sons were on their way home from Wild Wings on Washington Road about 11:20 p.m. when she got a glimpse of what she thought was a dog meandering in the parking lot of Warren Baptist Church.

But it was too big to be a dog.

“I called 911 and said that there was a bear in the church’s parking lot,” she said. “I don’t think the woman believed me at first.”

Patterson’s sons, Drue, 8, and Ian, 5, wanted to get a closer look at the woodland creature, so Patterson pulled over to watch the bear wander from the church parking lot over to a car dealership next door.

She said the bear stood about half as tall as a car while on all fours, but seemed more worried than anything.

“It was kind of scared and drooling a little bit,” she said. “It was like it didn’t know where it was.”

The bear was last seen running down Lutheran Drive, she said.

Taylor said so far the bear does not appear to be a threat to public safety and has not displayed any nuisance behavior. The male bear has been classified as a “transient, wandering bear” that was most likely separated from other bears and will not be staying around for long. In all sightings, the bear has appeared timid and scared of humans. At this point, there are no plans to try and trap the bear.

“We try to let it find it’s own way,” Taylor said.

If the bear “gets into a situation it can’t get out of,” like getting cornered or trapped in a tree, DNR will return to trap the bear, Taylor said.

July is breeding season for bears so it isn’t uncommon to see them wandering in search for food, but DNR advises not to make the hunt easy.

“People see a bear and want to feed it like it’s Yogi,” Taylor said, “but that’s the worst thing you can do.”

Residents are advised to move all trash and pick up pet food bowls at night and not refill bird feeders in areas where the bear has been spotted.

Staff Writer Travis Highfield contributed to this report.

GIVE BEAR SOME SPACE

DNR provides tips for handling bears in residential areas:

  •  Never pursue a bear on foot or in vehicles in an attempt to chase it from the area.
  •  Give it plenty of space and an avenue of retreat.
  •  Homeowners should remove dogs from the area (keep them penned up) so the bear doesn’t run up a tree.
  •  Remove all dog and cat food from porches or yards.
  •  Put trash out on the day of pickup by the garbage company.
Comments (20) Add comment
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corgimom
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corgimom 06/16/14 - 11:27 am
7
3
That poor bear, I hope he

That poor bear, I hope he finds his pack soon.

Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 06/16/14 - 12:09 pm
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Corgi, you're such a girl!

Corgi, you're such a girl!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/16/14 - 12:10 pm
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I think bears live solitarily

I think bears live solitarily except to mate.

myfather15
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myfather15 06/16/14 - 12:18 pm
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This is news??

It's just funny, because in the mountains, we lived with bears constantly. Was nothing to see them running through the back yard or breaking into a chicken coop, eating the eggs. People have lived around bears for a very long time; but let one roam into an area where they're not usual, and people panic!!

IBeDogGone
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IBeDogGone 06/16/14 - 12:20 pm
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Male

Did someone get close enough to see his family jewels to determine he was male.

grinder48
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grinder48 06/16/14 - 01:32 pm
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Huh?
Unpublished

Why would someone leave a sliding glass door in search of food ?

gill
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gill 06/16/14 - 03:34 pm
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Covering Ground

Washington Road to Martinez? The bear is covering some distance. Probably more than a car could cover on Washington Road at rush hour.

kiwiinamerica
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kiwiinamerica 06/16/14 - 04:21 pm
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The car dealership is the right place to go for food
Unpublished

Unfortunately, all the rats leave between 5 and 6pm.

Good job, Smokey. Right place, wrong time.

jrsc429
345
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jrsc429 06/16/14 - 04:49 pm
3
0
pickanick basket

"Hey, hey, Boo-Boo; all it takes to capture me is to leave a pickanick basket out, under a net that can drop down on me. I hope Ranger Smith will at least let me finish my meal before he takes me away."

AutumnLeaves
6959
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AutumnLeaves 06/16/14 - 06:10 pm
3
2
How could he resist such

How could he resist such easy-pickin's around here? There is fast food trash everywhere from people tossing their leftovers out their car windows, or dropping it while they're walking along. The trash from lazy litter bugs tempt coyotes, raccoons, bears, and other scavengers.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 06/16/14 - 08:42 pm
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6
Bear is quite tasty. A big

Bear is quite tasty. A big bear like that could feed a lot of people.

Truth Matters
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Truth Matters 06/16/14 - 08:55 pm
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1
A bear__much to the delight

A bear__much to the delight of the children__ visited a home daycare center in Plum Branch, SC last week! The quick thinking teacher got the kids inside safely for a safe view from the window.

Earlier that morning one was spotted in an Edgefield neighborhood near downtown.

rugerguy
216
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rugerguy 06/16/14 - 09:10 pm
14
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Paw and drive

I bet if the car salesmen had been there they would have tried to put him into a brand new 2014. No down payment, 0% interest for 60 months.

dwb619
90829
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dwb619 06/16/14 - 10:19 pm
3
1
Honeybun

Any of you remember the story of Ted Turners pet bear "Honeybun', and when it strayed away from the the plantation in Yamasee?

KSL
126051
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KSL 06/17/14 - 01:38 am
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1
I thought the bear's name was

I thought the bear's name was Jane.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 06/17/14 - 06:19 am
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Car

What kind of car was he looking at?

We see them in the north Ga mountains all the time....biguns--lil uns...we don't bother them & they usually run off.

Now skunks are something else though...try to stay away from those critters...mean lil rascals.

curly123053
4542
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curly123053 06/17/14 - 07:54 am
3
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Leave it Alone

I remember bear sightings years ago on the golf course in Jackson caused a stir. To the best of my recollection that bear disappeared for good. It probably found it's way back to it's pack. Hopefully this bear does too.

AFjoe
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AFjoe 06/17/14 - 08:01 am
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Lookin to ride

Yogi was in the used car section, he can't bear the high payments on a 2014.

nocnoc
41046
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nocnoc 06/17/14 - 08:45 am
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UMMMMMMM!

BEAR STEAKS

Cut 1 to 2 inches thick
Aged 3-4 weeks in the freezer

Select 2 steaks
Purchase a 6 pack of our favorite beer

Put 2 steaks in a large bowl with 1 1/2 cans of beer
Add some seasoned salt, garlic salt, black pepper, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce or Dales Sauce.
Pour in 1/2 a shot of blended whiskey over top.

Drink the other 1/2 shot of whiskey and continue to drink 1/2 shot every half hour while steaks marinade for at least 2 hours.

Apply steak to Preheated grill and cook to 160-170 internal temp.
Drink remaining beer while grilling the steaks.

Remember:
* Turn 1 time and remove once temp. and doneness is to you liking.
* Only use thongs never a Fork to turn and remove.

AFjoe
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AFjoe 06/17/14 - 08:42 am
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Please

Please keep the story to the bear facts.

nocnoc
41046
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nocnoc 06/17/14 - 08:51 am
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BTW: Bears are not pack animals

Bears are solitary animals and tend to live alone, or moms raising cubs.

Unbelievable
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Unbelievable 06/17/14 - 08:58 am
1
0
What was the address of the house?

I used to live on Stardust. Its a pretty easy walk through the woods off of Twin Lakes Dr to get to the dealership from Stardust. Lots of woods too.

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