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Alpharetta residents bear witness to a bear | News

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Alpharetta residents bear witness to a bear
News, Urban Wildlife
Alpharetta residents bear witness to a bear

ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- It isn't something you see every day, but a black bear decided to spend the weekend in the City of Alpharetta.

It was the talk of the town.

"Yeah, I was a little surprised," said Chris Rubio, who saw the bear.

"It was the last thing we expected to see on the way home from dinner," said his wife Susan.

The Rubios and their two children, Joseph and Brooke, were on their way home from dinner Friday night when they, along with many others, saw the bear roaming around the busy intersection of Windward Parkway and Deerfield Parkway.

"And then she (Susan) said 'a bear, a bear,' and then we kind of saw him and then he started running," Rubio said. "We drove along side of him and we started taking pictures."

Alpharetta Police said there have been a number of sightings all weekend. Officers who saw the bear said it was a young cub.

"I thought it was kind of weird," said young Joseph Rubio. He had an explanation why it was in Alpharetta: "It was trying to find its mom."

That was Friday night. The next morning Jim Texter was jogging with the Windward Roadrunners along Haynes Bridge Road, a couple miles south of the Rubio spotting, when he saw the bear.

"It looked like a dog but it was a bear and I said 'look, there's a bear,' and everybody behind me said no, it's a dog," Texter said.

Texter said he came within 25 feet of the bear after following it for a while. Texter pointed out bear foot prints in a muddy path where he saw it.

George Gordon of the Alpharetta Police Department said calls about the bear were coming in all weekend. The last call they received was Sunday morning when the bear was spotted in Milton. Milton is north of Alpharetta, so authorities are hopeful the bear is finding his way back to his home.

Georgia Department of Natural Resource authorities say if you see a bear, leave it alone. They say it won't hurt you and it will eventually find its way back to its natural habitat. DNR has a Black Bear Fact Sheet to learn more about the animal.

You can follow Kevin on Twitter @kgrowson

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