Strange sounds lead Asheville woman to bear den in backyard

A woman found a bear den in her backyard in Asheville, NC
A woman found a bear den in her backyard in Asheville, NC(Help Asheville Bears)
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 3:31 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 13, 2022 at 3:57 PM EST
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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - A western North Carolina woman was surprised to learn she was sharing her property with an unexpected neighbor.

Casey Vandergrift, a resident of Asheville, told Help Asheville Bears she was hearing sounds outside her home that she believed might be an animal in pain. HAB founder Jody Williams made a trip to assess the situation.

Williams said he uncovered a rare bear den in the brush behind Vandergrift’s house. He commended her for being willing to peacefully share her space with the bear - allowing the animal to keep its home for the winter.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission said homeowners can safely coexist with bears that build dens on their property until the spring.

Williams said the group will continue to monitor the den and hope to see baby cubs soon.

HAB is a nonprofit that seeks to educate the community about bears and stop illegal bear trapping.