The Bear Facts for Living with Bears in Highlands or Cashiers North Carolina

Last article in a series about living with bears in the mountains of western North Carolina


1.       A bear that stands on its hind legs is preparing to charge.

FALSE:  A bear that is standing on its hind legs is usually trying to identify you by scent or sight.  Bears rarely attack, but when they do it is on all fours with their head down.

2.      A bear’s scent of smell is better than a dog’s.

TRUE:  In fact, it is one of the most sensitive noses in the animal world.

3.      Bears are naturally aggressive towards humans.

FALSE:  Bears are shy, retiring creatures who only act aggressively as a last resort – usually when they feel threatened.

4.      The best way to get away from an aggressive bear is by running.

FALSE:  Bears can run as fast as a racehorse for short distances and running might trigger their chase response.

5.      Bears cannot run downhill.

FALSE:  Bears can run faster than any human – in any direction.

For more information you can call the Appalachian Bear Center or you can go to   The Nature Center in Highlands is also a great source for more information on Bears in Highlands and Cashiers

Remember, bears are far more likely to enhance your wilderness experience than spoil it.   Learning how to interpret their behavior and act responsibly is part of the thrill of sharing the mountain with these wild amazing creatures.

At your mountain home or rental property:            

  • If you feed your pet outside, make sure you bring in the food and dish at night.
  • Bring in your bird feeders at night or empty them nightly (bears love the black oily sunflower seeds)
  • Keep your garbage cans inside a building or shed until pick-up day. If you have particularly odorous food scraps such as fish and/or meat bones, freeze before the day of your garbage pick up.
  • Put out your garbage out only a couple of hours before pick up not the night before.
  • If you are going out of town, haul your garbage to the dump. Do not leave until pick up day.

If a bear comes into your yard, just watch it from a window and realize how lucky you are to be able to see such a majestic animal so close.  The bear is a wild animal and he needs to be treated like a wild animal.

Let us help you find the perfect home in Highlands or Cashiers for enjoying all the wildlife western North Carolina has to offer.    Give us a call at 828-526-1717

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