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Update: See Part 2 of this story here.

I have been living in Asheville North Carolina for going on 5 years at this point and heard stories of Black bear appearances but never had the pleasure of actually seeing one myself. We moved house just recently and my bear sightings occurrence has gone from zero to around twelve different bears in the space of four months. Our company focuses on Web programming and granted it is a little weird that we should be posting picture of bears but one of the things we had decided to do since starting the company in January was try in some way to be more in touch with things that matter in the world (as opposed to just cyberspace issues and work).

Black bears seem to be a pretty significant part of the mountains we live in and so here I sit posting a blog about them.

So where do Black bears of Asheville North Carolina actually live? As it happened, the area we moved to has a considerably more active bear population. Unbeknownst to us there is an active tagging and tracking study underway in our part of the city organized by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and NC State University. I had the honor of sitting with a team of biologists as they placed a tracking collar on a 275lb mother (with 3 cubs). With amazing tenderness and skill they tatooed, weighed, measured and tagged these beautiful creatures with the mother carefully sedated.

Despite the post title, I don’t really feel great about giving away specific locations as you never know who might take advantage of that info with bad intent. I’m not entirely sure what it is that fascinates me about these animals but seeing them in the wild, living in the woods and mountains around my house is something that can take your breath away. I thought I would just share some of the pics I took with my phone of the mother, one male cub and 2 females – Thank Zeus for smart phones :). (In one of the pics you can see the sedated mother and then a little further back the cubs in a hollow that is their den).

These animals have recently decided to move on, to forage across the mountains of WNC and once again I was in the right place at the right time to see them off – from the safety of my left wing mirror. See below – my apologies for the vertical video 🙂