by Michael Lowrey
N.C. State University and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission scientists are studying the bear population in Asheville and, as the Asheville Citizen-Times reports, have come up with some interesting findings. It turns out that brown bears are basically everywhere in Asheville. And how are city residents handling having these large mammals as their neighbors? Better than you might have thought:
“People in general are a lot more tolerant of bears in their neighborhood than we suspected,” [N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission biologist Mike] Carraway said. “We typically are dealing with people who are mad about a bear in their neighborhood, so it’s a pleasant surprise that a lot of people are pretty much OK with it.”
Which is something to keep in mind as bears continue to spread across the state.