Relocated ‘nuisance’ bear travels practically 1,000 miles, returns to nationwide park

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Bear 609 by Invoice Stiver

A daring black bear, recognized for looting campsites and backpacks, has as soon as once more spooked researchers.

Bear 609, a black bear within the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park, needed to transfer to a different location to display “food-regulating habits,” or what occurs when it will get used to consuming human meals and rubbish, in keeping with the Nationwide Park. Invoice Steiber, the park’s wildlife biologist, defined. park.

“We tried a number of issues to maintain her from transferring within the first yr,” Steiber mentioned. , terrifying folks, however she returned the next yr, taking meals from the ring of fireside and difficult folks for her backpack.

Nationwide Park Service personnel moved Bear 609 from the Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park to the Cherokee Nationwide Forest. She wore her GPS tracker earlier than being launched.


A view of the Cherokee Nationwide Forest from the west aspect of I-26 in Unicoy County, Tennessee on August 4, 2016. (Photograph by Bryan Steffy/Getty Pictures)

From there, the bear “virtually instantly” started transferring south, trekking by Georgia and South Carolina earlier than circling Asheville, North Carolina. She headed north from Asheville and re-entered the nationwide park, finally getting her inside 5 to 6 miles of the place she was caught on July eighth.

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“Frankly, I believed she would return to the place we caught her as a result of plenty of bears do,” Steiber mentioned. was 300 to 400 miles.”


Map displaying Bear 609’s epic journey (Courtesy of Invoice Stiver)

However Bear 609 hadn’t completed his journey but. She turned south once more and circled Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee for about 450-500 miles.

She was additionally seen hit by a automobile at a shopping center in Alpharetta, Georgia. But she saved going, crossing main interstates and passing by city areas.

“She by no means stopped transferring,” Stiver mentioned.

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Her pursuers now imagine she has returned to Tennessee’s Cherokee Nationwide Forest.

Stiver is likely one of the researchers in a three-year examine monitoring what occurs when black bears transfer out of the park.

Why she traveled this far remains to be a thriller.

“Whereas doing this analysis, we’ve got seen a number of bears migrate very lengthy distances, and that is by far the longest,” mentioned Stiver.

Bear 609 is fortunate. About two-thirds of bears that migrate die inside 4 to 5 months, Stiver mentioned. That is why it is so essential to teach folks about decreasing human-bear battle and stopping entry to meals and trash.

Exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A black bear forages alongside the Tennessee state line on Could 11, 2018 in Newfound Hole close to Cherokee, North Carolina. The Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park straddles the Tennessee-North Carolina border and lies within the coronary heart of the Appalachian Mountains.

“When that occurs, they’re clearly extra inclined to being run over by automobiles and extra vulnerable to being hunted,” Stiver mentioned. is a good useful resource for studying what to do and to not do in case you dwell in or reproduce in a bear-inhabited space, he mentioned.

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