This story is from this morning's News & Record (Greensboro, NC). It is about a mama bear and her three cubs (pictured to the left...yes, that's some of them) that scampered up a tree over the weekend in Madison, which is in the western section of my county. Reason they were there? Oh...I don't know...could it be...HONEY? Read on. By the way, I'm glad that I'm a city beekeeper!
OH POOH! NO HONEY FOR THESE BEARS!
The family of bears likely came looking for honey but instead found themselves up a tree, held hostage by neighbors near Old Wagon Trail.
The first sightings of the bear and three cubs came about dusk Sunday, and by Monday morning, they had an audience.
But by 1 p.m., the bears had enough of the show and decided to bid their temporary refuge goodbye.
“I guess they decided to take a chance and run,” said Josh Brim, who lives on Old Wagon Trail.
The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office said it began receiving calls about the bears Sunday evening. Sheriff’s office spokesman Dean Venable said deputies, animal control and wildlife officers took a look at the bears but hoped they would come down on their own.
When the bears didn’t, the officers returned Monday to see what could be done to coax them.
“It’s not uncommon to see a bear in some of our rural areas,” Venable said. “We’ve lost a lot of our timberland, and they’re coming in to hunt food.”
The area where the bears were found is rural, located off U.S. 311. Old Wagon Trail is a gravel road with just a few homes.
The bears climbed up trees on the property of DeWitt and Darlene Brown. The couple thinks mama bear may have smelled honey for her cubs.
DeWitt Brown raises bees and said bears will “tear your hives all to pieces.”
Darlene Brown thinks the bears’ quest for food was derailed by the barking of her dogs, a black lab and a collie.
The dogs’ lot is next to the trees where the bears sought refuge. Had it not been for them, Darlene Brown guesses, the bears would have had a field day with her husband’s hives.
The sheriff’s office reported seeing a mom and two cubs, but the Browns and Brim said a third cub was in a second tree.
In the end, Sheriff Sam Page said it only took giving the bears a little space — and quiet — to get them to descend the trees.
The barking dogs were moved, and someone operating machinery nearby was told to turn it off, he said. Onlookers were kept back as much as possible.
DeWitt Brown said he’s not worried about the mom and cubs coming after his honey again.
“She’s had so much excitement,” he said. “I think she’s gone from here.”