Police Help Escort Black Bear in Downtown Asheville to Safety
Occurred on April 21, 2022 / Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Info from Licensor: I walked out of my office in downtown Asheville on the afternoon of Thursday, April 21 to find this scene. I work as associate director at Green Built Alliance, a nonprofit that focuses on sustainable living, green building, and climate justice. Rapid local development in the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Asheville is pushing bears out of their natural habitats, so it's our responsibility as stewards of this land to find ways to nurture and coexist with these beautiful creatures, especially as climate change will continue to stress their ecosystem in the coming years. Especially in light of it being posted right around Earth Day, I updated my Facebook post to include links to organizations that work locally to support the health and wellbeing of our bear population in the mountains. I would love for this video to spur conversation and create a teachable moment that raises awareness for some of the underlying issues affecting our beloved bear population here in the mountains. Some organizations doing great work include BearWise, The North Carolina Urban/Suburban Bear Study, and Help Asheville Bears. They have great resources and tips on their respective pages and websites that partners might be able to share in what they publish or air. Here is more information from the Asheville Police Department, who escorted the bear to safety: APD officers responded to an unusual call Thursday afternoon of a bear milling around downtown and then eventually climbing a tree in the Pritchard Park area. The black bear, wearing a Wildlife enforcement tracking collar, seemed to want a day in the park, where lots of people were enjoying their day downtown. Officers wanted to help get the bear safely out of the area by helping give the bear space to mosey along. At one point the bear even crossed the street by using the crosswalk. Although officers appreciated the law-abiding bear, it was important to get the bear back to a wooded area for safety. This is the third incident APD officers have assisted in getting bears out of the downtown area in the past three weeks. Always be aware of your surroundings. We recommend following the recommendations listed on bearwise.org.