PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A bear is the newest resident in a Hampstead neighborhood, and has some people afraid to go outside.
"It really startled me," said Paulette Biles. "I can't believe what I saw out of the corner of my eye. I saw hairy legs, and I took a step back and realized what it was."
A black bear cub has been hanging out in Biles' backyard and destroying her bird feeders.
"I happened to catch him and he bent that hook like you snap a little twig," said Hines.
Wildlife experts said people should remove any outdoor food source, like bird feeders, for at least a week and the bear should move on. Biles said she already tried to do that, but the bear returned.
"At the first sighting we took everything down and brought in the feeders," said Biles. "We went on vacation, and when we came back it had been 11 days so we put a test feeder out. He is still in the area."
Biles said she is taking every precaution, but as the days pass she fears someone may get hurt.
"That's my biggest concern - the children in the neighborhood," said Biles.
Biles said she and her neighbors look around now to make sure they are alone before spending time outside.
According to wildlife experts, our bear population is about 8,000 along the coast. They say most bears are afraid of the own shadows, but become accustomed to a certain area.
Experts say to not attempt to trap or capture the animal. They say the bear should move on if the food source is removed.