Are Black Bears on the Loose in Guilford County?

Are we being invaded by bears?  Or, are we humans encroaching on their habitats?   

Well, at least some folks probably think it’s the bears that are causing all the trouble. 

You can read here about a woman near Asheville who was swatted by a bear last month; and here’s one about a man in New Jersey who got a nice black eye when a bear stole his sandwich.  And here are two more items from the News and Record about bear sightings:  one about North Carolina’s growing bear population, the other concerning a possible sighting in Guilford County.

This weekend, I made a trip to Virginia’s Peaks of Otter to climb Sharp Top — one of those delightful pilgrimages I make at least one or two times a year — and I can report there were caution signs all over the place warning about bears.

While I saw no bears myself on my climb, I went into the store across from old Sharp Top to get a drink afterward and asked the attendant if she’d seen any.  She said, “Why yes, I saw one just last night.” 

But she seemed skeptical about a bear invasion.  When I mentioned the story about the New Jersey man who’d had his sandwich stolen, she retorted, “Well, of course, that’s because there’s practically no natural habitat left for them up there.”

Greensboro Public Library has a lot of books on bears, though most of them are juveniles.  However, I did find these in the adult non-fiction section here at Central Library:  Bears of the World by Lance Craighead; Smiling Bears:  A Zookeeper Explores the Behavior and Emotional Life of Bears by Else Poulsen; Bear-ology:  Fascinating Bear Facts, Tales & Trivia by Sylvia Dolson; Bears:  A Brief History by Bernd Brunner (this, I think, would be an especially interesting one); Search for the Golden Moon Bear:  Science and Adventure in Pursuit of a New Species by Sy Montgomery; and Black Bear Country by Michael Furtman.

And don’t forget our electronic database Science Online.  You can find some good information on bears in it.

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4 Responses

  1. It is very hard to believe the story about the man and the bear and the sandwich. Clearly the man lied about the bear “attacking” him and that is why Fish & Wildlife is calling it an “incident.” The Chief of the Division’s Bureau of Wildlife Management pointed out that it is odd that there were no scratches or torn clothing.

    He had: No ripped shirt, no claw marks, no bite marks, and he managed to kick the bear 4 times while lying on the ground???

    Something is wrong with this story.

    If his injuries were as severe as claimed, why would he wait till the next day to call police? He had a cell phone with him, so why didn’t he call 911 for help instead of his wife?

    If he sustained so many injuries and was so shaken up, wouldn’t he want to be taken to the hospital? If he thought this bear was aggressive and dangerous – why would he want his wife to come out of the house?

    I absolutely believe that he may have been outside, noticed a bear and started running into the house, leaving his trunk open. He may have fallen running into his house and the bear went to investigate the car. I don’t think the bear would have gone near the man.

    The man said he was in his drive-way about 10:30 Friday night, loading the back of his sport utility vehicle for a business trip to New Hampshire. Along with his bags was an Italian hogie, loaded with salami and other meats, lettuce, onions and tomatoes.

    The man was leaving on a business trip at 10:30 at night and his wife was sleeping and not there to help him and wave good-bye?

    And, if he wasn’t leaving until morning, why was he putting a sandwich in the car at night? It would rot all night without refrigeration.

    Something is very weird about this story.

    Even stranger is the fact that the newspaper said he recently lost his job, so why was he going on a business trip Friday night?

    The man said, “This is a dangerous, aggressive bear” ~~ then why did the bear run away? It just proves the true disposition of our bears – they would rather flight then fight.

    The sandwich may have been an Italian sub – but everything else sounds ” fishy.”

  2. […] More Guilford Sightings Posted on July 9, 2009 by pdurham000 In a brief followup to a recent post, the News and Record reports at least two additional bear sightings in Guilford County occurred on […]

  3. […] yet another follow-up to our previous posts (here and here) on bear sightings, the News and Record reports yet another bear was seen today in […]

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