A mama bear and her three cubs were recently spotted walking through the residential streets of North Asheville.
While not uncommon throughout parts of Asheville, the sighting was a welcome surprise for individuals in the area who are staying home during the Coronavirus pandemic. Embedded below is a video capturing the bears strolling down the sidewalks of Edwin Place in North Asheville.
As a reminder, bears and humans can safely coexist, with the key being that people need to follow the BearWise Basics.
Secure food, garbage, and recycling.
- Do not place trash/recycling out the night before collection. By city ordinance, carts should be placed at the curb *on the day of pick up* and removed the same day. So roll that trash cart into your garage, if you have one. Put it outside only on the morning of your collection day.
- Bears can smell food from miles away. Putting food scraps in the freezer and then placing them in the garbage can on day of pick up (while still frozen) can reduce bear curiosity.
Remove bird feeders when bears are active.
- Birdseed and other grains have a high calorie content, making them very attractive to bears. The best way to avoid conflicts with bears is to remove feeders.
- People who intentionally leave out corn or birdseed for bears do the animals and their neighbors a disservice. Unfortunately, feeding bears can cause them to lose their fear of humans and become pests.
Never leave pet food out.
- Feed outdoor pets portion sizes that will be completely eaten during each meal and then remove leftover food and food bowl. Securely store these foods so nothing is available to bears. Pet food can be another source of attraction. Feed Fido or Kitty inside if your property is subject to the occasional wandering bear.
Never feed or approach bears.
- Intentionally feeding bears or allowing them to find anything that smells or tastes like food teaches bears to approach homes and people looking for more. Bears will defend themselves if a person gets too close, so don’t risk your safety and theirs!
Clean and store grills.
- Clean grills after each use and make sure that all grease, fat and food particles are removed. Store clean grills and smokers in a secure area that keeps bears out.
Alert neighbors to bear activity.
- See bears in the area or evidence of bear activity? Tell your neighbors and share information on how to avoid bear conflicts. Bears have adapted to living near people; now it’s up to us to adapt to living near bears.
If you encounter a bear
The NC Wildlife Resources Commission provides these “bear wise” tips on what to do if encountering a bear:
- Do not approach the bear. Quietly move away and leave the area.
- If you are a safe distance away from the bear, make loud noises, shout, or bang pots and pans together to scare it away.
- Give the bear a clear escape route.
Tips provided by the City of Asheville. Video provided by Tom Leslie.