Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have reportedly been warned a large black bear has been seen roaming near their new California home, posing a serious risk.

CCTV footage shows the wild animal prowling around neighbours' homes, and is said to have attacked chickens and rifled through bins.

Experts have said the bear - which in the western state can grow up to seven feet tall and weigh 550 pounds - is likely to be searching for food after its den was disturbed.

It is believed to have previously set up home on the grounds of a nearby ranch, which was recently sold, forcing it to begin wandering.

The large black bear has been spotted rifling through bins

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex secretly moved from Beverly Hills to the more secluded community of Montercito, Santa Barbara, in July.

Their £11million mansion boasts a number of wealthy neighbours, including chat show royalty Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres, and Hollywood actor Rob Lowe.

Soon after the Sussexes arrived, a bear was reported to have been seen yards from Ms Winfrey's estate and it now appears to have returned.

CCTV footage has captured the bear near homes
It has been described as "dangerous"

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has cited odours coming from chicken coops, which are popular among residents, as the likely reason.

The Montecito Association sent an email to homeowners - seen by The Sun - warning: "The bear likely lives in Ranchos San Carlos, which recently sold.

"There may be new activity on the ranch that is disturbing the bear and setting it off into the community.

Harry and Meghan's new home boasts 16 bathrooms

"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."

Fatal bear attacks on humans are rare in the US, with experts advising those confronted by one to avoid making eye contact and to remain calm.