Black bear visits Murrells Inlet neighborhood

It was a scary situation for some residents in Murrells Inlet Monday morning after they say a nearly 400-pound black bear was spotted in their neighborhood.

Mark Bridgers sent us pictures taken off of South Creek Drive in the Mount Gilead Subdivision. The bear was spotted around 8 a.m.

WPDE NewsChannel 15 President/CEO Billy Huggins said the bear jumped into the creek off of South Creek Drive, swam across the creek, and got out at the docks near Edwards Avenue and Rum Gully Road.

Deanna Ruth, a bear biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, says this bear has been spotted in this area for three years in a row.

Ruth believes the bear is trying to makes its way back to the Waccamaw drainage area in Georgetown County for mating season.

"The traveling territory of this bear during mating season can sometimes be up to 30 square miles," added Ruth.

Ruth says if anyone comes across this bear, or any other bear, they should stay away because the bear is not aggressive unless cornered.

"Act big and tall but back away from the situation," she cautioned.

The bear was last spotted near the Horry/Georgetown county line in Murrells Inlet.