Several bear and gator sightings prompt concerns

- Several bear and alligator sightings in the area have certainly caught everyone's attention lately.

A massive gator, measuring 6 feet or more, was found hit by a vehicle on US 74 in Union County late Monday night.

Marshville police believe the gator could've come from the murky waters of Stegall Lake, right off the highway.

The gator sighting comes within 24 hours of another wild animal spotted in the Piedmont -- a bear in Matthews.

"Certainly the alligators are a bit more unexpected than the bears," NC Wildlife Resources Commission Biologist Rupert Medford said. "It's kind of surprising for alligators to turn up this far west in North Carolina and also this far north, being that it's the Piedmont. It's not completely improbable, it could be a wild alligator, but I'm still a little suspicious. It's just speculation but it's possible they were moved by people."

The NC Wildlife Resources Commission said it's more common than people think to see bears in this area during the summer months. The commission wants people to leave both the bears and gators alone.

Do not try to approach them.

"Make sure they aren't doing anything to encourage them to stay, and that mostly involves around managing food sources."

If you happen to spot a gator, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission wants you to give them a call at 919-707-0010. 

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