A black bear decided to visit Duke this week. Seriously, the bear took a stroll over to the VA on Monday, getting as far as the parking lot before darting back to the woods across from Erwin Road. On Tuesday he was spotted over at the Center for Living. (I say “he” because most of these “city bears” are usually young males in transit, looking for a new territory to call their own.) Sometimes
they get turned around. Fortunately our friend was close to Duke Forest, where he should have some good cover while planning his next move. I wonder if he knows that Carolina is only 8 miles down the road. Nobody got a picture of the bear, so I’m using one of my stock images below.
I’m always surprised to hear about black bears in the Triangle, but I shouldn’t be. Traditionally our state’s bear populations have thrived in our western mountains and our eastern swamps, where there are large tracts of uninhabited land. From what I’ve read, their population has increased substantially over the last 40 years, thanks in large part to efforts by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. Now they are living all over the place, and sightings have become more common as the humans have spread out into previously uninhabited spaces.
As fate would have it, my dad saw a bear crossing Clark’s Creek road near their house this morning. A tiny image, but check out those long legs. Time to get back up to the mountains.