Bears in Asheville

Many of the guests at our bed and breakfast have chosen Asheville as a destination to enjoy the notable scenic beauty our area offers.  In the knowledge that as innkeepers we enjoy being in the outdoors we feel able to assist them in finding much of the serene beauty this area has to offer. From Mt. Mitchell hikes, to Max Patch Bald to Dupont Forest- we have made our own treks and the sights we have enjoyed are breathtaking and will live in our hearts forever.

Recently, there has  been more than a little press dedicated to the presence of bears in our area spotted in  places one would not expect to see bears.  We have viewed them taking brief residence in the trees of  our downtown area, seeking dog food from neighborhood dog bowls and the like proving dangerous to the outside dogs living in these locations..  Much of this problem is man made in that the whole of Western North Carolina has becoming so popular, Asheville in particular, that much building has come to our area encroaching on the natural habitat of the bear.  They lived here first and this could spark another discussion entirely.  That discussion will not be part of this blog.

There have been more than a few incidences of Bear encounters that rendered injury:
May of 2010 a tourist was bitten by a bear.  December 2009 saw a bear handler mauled by a bear in captivity and it’s early in the season yet- likely meaning 2012 will also have some incident. 

Many of our guests come from places that are completely urban and so it is in this spirit that I pen this blog.
The bear experts recommend the following behavior should one encounter a bear anywhere:

1.  Do not run.  Bears are wild animals and pursuit of something running would simply be behavioral.
2.  Remain as calm as it is possible for you to be under the circumstances.
3.  Make your presence known, clap your hands, raise your arms above your head in a waving manner making yourself as large as possible.
4.  Make loud noise.
5.  Do not turn your back on the bear but facing the bear, being careful not to trip over anything, back up slowly.
6.  Never corner a bear.
7.  Even if the bear appears hungry and their behavior appears very tame-never feed bears. I repeat, they are wild creature.   Many of the problems with bears not avoiding humans are the direct result of humans and their failure to know and act upon the fact that these are wild animals.  They are not meant to be domesticated or friended in any way. 
8.  Do not leave food out in the wilderness of any kind pet or that which is to be your food. Bears will find their way to this food and YOU.

There is bountiful beauty in our area and we want to help you enjoy it safely.  Safety in the wilderness largely depends on knowledge and preparation.  It is our hope we have helped provide some tips to assist in that because folks, the woods do have bears in them.  With a bit of planning, we can enjoy their home without actually encountering the owners. 

Hike on!

Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast

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