NEWBERRY, S.C. — Multiple people in Newberry County and the town of Prosperity have seen a black bear wandering around the area. 

Most people are saying he is just looking for a bite to eat, and seemed harmless.

“The bear got my shop trashcan from right here and when I came out he was trying to get the lid off and he couldn’t," describes Prosperity man David Alston. "So, he picked it up like a person and walked backwards and drug it back to the spot its in right now. He was just sitting there eating out of the trashcan, I think it was probably about 20 minutes.” 

David Alston and his grandson Zy Hiller realized a bear was in their backyard around 9 a.m. So they began recording the bear, Hiller getting pretty close to the animal.

Cpl. Cory Jones from the Prosperity Police Department stayed a safer distance away, but was able to whistle and grab the bears attention in the video he took. 

Black Bear in Newberry
Prosperity PD and Newberry Sheriff

Ady Ashemore and Julia Eargle were going to eat at Waffle House off of Highway 34 when they saw the bear stretched out on a tree. 

“It looked harmless, kind of. I mean I know bears aren’t harmless but it looked harmless," Ashemore recalls. "We got pretty close to it with our car.”

Black Bear in Newberry
Janet Ashemore

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources told us black bear breeding season has bears on the move, and they are hungry looking for an easy meal. They say that removing any food sources that would attract bears will greatly reduce any bear issues in residential areas.