Bear sighting reported in Joyner Park

Wednesday, February 28, 2024 - 11:51am

On Monday, Feb. 26, the Wake Forest Police Department (WFPD) received a report of a bear sighting in E. Carroll Joyner Park, 701 Harris Road. Although no one captured a photo or video, the bear was described as a cub which means its mother was likely nearby.

According to the NC Wildlife Commission, bears tend to be shy and non-aggressive toward humans. However, a bear will be defensive when protecting their young or a food source or if they are startled. Although bears tend to avoid confrontations with humans in most cases, here are additional steps you can take to avoid problems with them:

  • Never feed or approach bears

  • Secure food, garbage, and recycling

  • Remove bird feeders when bears are active

  • Never leave pet food out

  • Clean and store grills

  • Let neighbors know about bear activity

Finally, though it may be “easier said than done,” if you see a bear, stay calm. They are usually wary of people – unless humans feed or provoke them.

Never approach, surround, or corner a bear. If it changes its natural behavior because of your presence, you are too close. Back away slowly and once you are a safe distance away from the bear, make lots of noise to frighten the bear away.

Wake Forest officials wish to remind residents that most Town parks and greenways are in natural areas. As a result, park visitors and greenway users are likely to encounter various species of wildlife in their natural habitat – including an occasional bear.

Anyone experiencing damage caused by or unusual behavior on the part of a bear or any other wild animal should report it to the WFPD at 919-554-6150 or Wake County Animal Control at 919-212-7387. Trained and experienced animal control personnel will assess the situation and determine the best course of action. The NC Wildlife Commission will typically not trap and relocate bears unless human safety is threatened. For more information, visit

E. Carroll Joyner Park