When a woman sitting on her back porch heard a “sad whimper” she went to check and discovered a full-grown bear had constructed a den in her backyard.
When Casey Vandergrift, of Asheville, North Carolina, heard the noises earlier this week, she initially believed it was an injured animal.
“It was a giant bear,” she informed the Facebook group Help Asheville Bears. “I thought it was a dying dog, I mean it was just a sad whimper.” That’s when she approached the group.
HAB is committed to bear protection and educating the people on how to cohabit with the creatures.
The bear in Vandergrift’s yard had created a den among the thick bushes and kudzu.
HAB founder Jody Williams, who personally studied the location, believes the bear is a female who is denning up early in preparation for the winter season and perhaps giving birth to cubs in January.
“It was the absolute perfect spot for a bear to den up,” he said, adding that pregnant females den up first, followed by males, leading him to speculate about forthcoming deliveries.
“It was a very big surprise because I had my headlamp on and I was romping through the brush, looking for a dog, and then it was two giant eyeballs, like, giant skull of a bear,” Vandergrift recalled.
She claims to have a one-of-a-kind piece of property that she describes as an oasis in a neighborhood of densely constructed dwellings.
“It was hers before it was mine,” Vandergrift explained.
Vandergrift done such a good job quietly coexisting with her new “neighbor” that she is letting the bear stay and retain her snug little house.
Williams stated that HAB would continue to watch the bear and provide updates as they become available.
“Who knows,” he said. “We might just be sharing news of her giving birth to her new cubs in January — stay tuned.”
“We strongly believe that sharing general bear education as well as stories such as this bear making a den is an incredibly important part of helping the community get to know and become familiar with the bears in our own backyards,” said HAB’s Adam McMillian. “Having a better understanding of them is so key to peacefully coexisting with them — and all wildlife for that matter.”