LITTLE RIVER, S.C. (WBTW) — It’s not every day you encounter a bear in Horry County, but a Little River woman said that’s exactly what happened Sunday morning while she was driving with her kids on Highway 9.
“We were coming from Mullins,” said Elvira Medina. “We live in Little River. One of my sons saw it, and then we all looked and it was running, and it crossed Highway 9.”
One of Medina’s kids took a video of the encounter that she shared with News13. It shows what appears to be a bear running along a fence line near their car as they were driving near Dunkin’ Donuts and Bell and Bell Buick GMC Trucks.
“We were like ‘Oh, my gosh, that’s a huge bear,’ ” Medina said. She said she later realized the animal wasn’t all that big.
“We’re not used to them,” she said. “So to us it was humongous. It looked like it was scared, the poor thing, with all that traffic.”
She said her family has lived in the area since 2007, and this is their first time for such an encounter.”
According to information on the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website, there were 250 bear/human contacts in the state in 2019, including 74 in the coastal plain, one of two areas in the state where bears are most commonly seen.
Black bears are the largest land mammals in South Carolina, the website said, adding that average male black bears can weigh between 150 to 350 pounds and females between 100 to 250 pounds.
The DNR also says you should never feed a bear and that it is illegal in South Carolina “to entice bears by any means.”