Nov. 20 (UPI) -- A South Carolina woman called state wildlife officials for advice after she was shocked to find five black bears hanging out on her porch.
Debra Patrick of Boiling Springs said in a Facebook post she was surprised to find the large bear family spending time on her porch Saturday night.
The post included a photo of the bears fleeing after they were apparently equally surprised by Patrick.
"PSA!!! Farm Lake residents. We just had 5 black bears on our front porch. Keep your animals inside. We called the Department of Natural Resources and they said to just let them be," Patrick wrote.
Jamie Dozier, unit wildlife biologist for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources based in Georgetown, said bears are naturally fearful of humans. The agency said there has never been a black bear attack on a human reported in South Carolina.
"A wild bear is very wary of man and usually no threat at all, but a bear that has been fed can lose that natural fear," Dozier told the Hilton Head Island Packet.
Most commenters on Patrick's post thanked her for warning them of the bears before they let their pets outside, but at least one was sorry they had been unable to throw their cat outside "as a sacrifice" for "meowing and bouncing off the walls all night."