Huge black bear spotted lurking near Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s mansion

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been warned that a wild bear has been spotted prowling near their £11 million mansion.

Footage of the huge beast has been caught by security cameras and neighbours in the wealthy community of Montecito, California, have reported having had their chickens attacked and rubbish bins raided.

The black bear is believed to have a den in a nearby ranch, which was disturbed when it was sold recently. Experts say it is looking for food and poses a serious risk.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved into their sprawling nine-bedroom, 16-bathroom pad in early July.

Soon afterwards a large black bear was reported yards from chat show legend Oprah Winfrey's huge estate, and now it appears to be back.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is blaming the smells from the number of chicken coops for luring the bear into the area.

Spokesman Tim Daly said: "It's not like they can't afford fresh eggs but for some reason, the folks there think they need a chicken coop and that's what's attracting the bear."

The Montecito Association sent an email to residents – also including actor Rob Lowe and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres – saying: "The bear likely lives in Ranchos San Carlos, which recently sold.

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"There may be new activity on the ranch that is disturbing the bear and setting it off into the community. This could be a bad outcome for that bear, unfortunately, and is dangerous for neighbors.

"The sheriffs are contacting Fish and Wildlife to put a humane trap for the animal so it can be safely relocated."

Adult male black bears can weigh up to 300kg. Fatal attacks on humans are rare but last year Catherine Sweatt-Mueller was killed in Minnesota while searching for her dogs.

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Daly gave some useful advice about what the royal couple should do if they come face to face by one of the huge beasts.

He added: "We started getting a cluster of calls about a bear in Montecito in July and we've had some further calls about it this week.

"We’re hoping it will make its own way out of the area.

"Bears are attracted to strong odours so we're advising residents to seal their trash and clean their barbecues.

"Bears shouldn’t be confronted and they want to see an escape route, too.

"Don’t make eye contact with them and don’t run."

Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, have been giving a glimpse into their mansion with a series of video chats this week. On Tuesday they led a Time100 talk where they were asked how they finding being locked down in their LA pad.

The pair both said they are happy the coronavirus pandemic has allowed them to spend more time with 17-month-old son Archie.

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