A visit from a bear family.


Mama bear seems to call to her cubs down on the ground. 

I was at a neighbor’s house, and suddenly, we witnessed four black bears emerging from the woods in the back of their yard: a mother and her three adolescent cubs.  Black bears are not very large, not terribly aggressive, and will usually avoid humans, although they do have a reputation for living near humans, because of easy access to trashcans and the smell of cooking food.   Many homeowners around here chain down the lids of their trashcans or even lock them.   Raccoons are also a problem.

Black bears are very common in the western North Carolina mountains, and are especially easy to spot in the fall, since they are out foraging for food before winter sets in.  They are not endangered here because many people are so entranced with them, they actually leave out food to attract them.

On this day,  my neighbor and I could see them lumbering closer until they finally stopped under a berry tree almost directly under the second floor window we were looking out of.  Mama was the first to climb up the tree (the bears’ agility is amazing for their size and shape), and she seemed to “call” to her cubs to come get some berries.  The cubs seemed pretty content to graze on the ground looking for berries that had dropped there, although one did attempt to climb up there with Mom, but wasn’t too successful at it.

After the bears ate their fill, they lumbered off across a field into another part of the woods.

I wish the pictures were clearer, but at least we were pretty close!



The three cubs. 


Mama (far right) and cubs

6 thoughts on “A visit from a bear family.

  1. I had a bear visit yesterday evening, a mom and one cub. She was probably one who has been in the neighborhood for years. If so, she knows that if yelling doesn’t work, I make other noises and throw things. I told them to get and they went. I didn’t get any pictures.

    Beginning next Summer, all garbage cans in Highlands will have to be bear-proof totes. They also have bars that fit a lift on the garbage trucks, which will be good for the backs of the workers.

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    • Oh yes, you would get black bears where you live! I bet all the garbage cans have to be locked up. Bears are so funny though. They spend so much time hanging around where humans live, maybe in time they’ll become domesticated like dogs…or more recently, cats. Not sure if I’d like sharing living space with a bear though. :/

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      • Getting people here to secure their garbage has been a long battle. Other than the new totes, which can’t be opened without real fingers and are very durable, bears can, given time, defeat most other types of cans, especially if they can roll them around. A lot of the efforts here are directed toward them not becoming domesticated. They are rather large for house pets and might be difficult to house break. Someone could try to breed miniature bears (like miniature horses or pigs), but it would be kind of pointless since we already have raccoons.

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