Don't fear the wild animals

A recent sighting of a wild black bear in Camden has area residents on high alert.

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- A recent sighting of a wild black bear in Camden has area residents on high alert.

Wildlife experts say there is no reason to fear the animals; generally they are scared of humans.

Scott Pfaff from Riverbanks Zoo has been studying animals for decades.

"If you see a female bear and she's with her cubs and she's protecting her cubs they can be dangerous," said Pfaff. "Don't try to approach the animal, don't try to feed it, if you start feeding it then they will hang around."

The wild animals tend to roam in areas where they can find food.

Black bears are usually most prominent in the Northeastern part of the country.

The discovery of a black bear in the Midlands is rare.

"We don't have a big bear problem in the Midlands," said Pfaff. "Wildlife like this should be enjoyed not feared, it's part of our South Carolina's natural history."

A black bear that was seen running through a Camden neighborhood Sunday night has been relocated.

Authorities with the Camden Police Department say the approximately 4-foot-tall, 300 pound black bear was seen by residents around 9:30 p.m. Sunday running around a yard near Lyttleton Street.

According to the incident report, the responding officers arrived to find the bear in a magnolia tree in the front yard of a home.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Kershaw County Animal Control responded to the scene.

DNR officials used a tranquilizer to temporarily subdue the bear, which was then relocated.