Several black bear sightings around King Friday afternoon resulted in King Elementary School being placed under a lock down order for about an hour.
King Police Chief Paula May said the first sighting was at Sheetz, where a caller said they had seen three black bears.
Then a single bear was sighted near the Dairi-O and then near King Elementary School, according to May.
“Officers have not seen the bears themselves,” said May, “but we are advising people to use common sense and not try to engage it in any way if they see it. Just be aware of your surroundings when you are outside.”
She said students at King Elementary School were able to board buses at around their usual time, noting that city officers and North Carolina Wildlife Commission officers were at the school during the lock down and bus loading.
“According to Wildlife, bears can travel great distances, so they could be totally outside of the city by this evening,” said May.
But she cautioned that parents and pet owners should still be vigilant about not leaving kids or pets outside unattended.
She also noted that residents should make sure they did not have any uncovered trash or pet food laying outside.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.