Not-So-Gentle Ben

I find it hard to believe that John and I both slept through the destruction taking place outside our open bedroom window last night, but we did.  Not-So-Gentle Ben, the pear-thief bear, returned.  I really don’t know if it was the same bear…  I read yesterday that there are 6,000 black bears in the mountains of N.C. and the food supply is low.  There have been several bear sightings in our area, and a guy in Asheville was just arrested and fined $2,000 for shooting one that was eating out of his garbage can.  Black bears are primarily vegetarian, and the acorns and berry crops were light this year.  I saw a bear Saturday in broad daylight, which is rare.  I was out showing properties with some new clients.  The bear we saw was young, smallish, running at top speed down a hill toward a road.  He slowed a little at the bottom of the hill, dove between strands of barbed-wire fence, and crossed the road.  I found myself hoping no vehicles would come flying around the curve.  It all happened so fast that none of us could get our cameras ready in time to snap a shot.

Back to our bear visit:

The evidence suggests he (or she) was in a bad bear mood.  First, it found the chicken treats I purchased yesterday and consumed $13 worth of chicken “trail mix” and birdseed.  (Grrrr.)  The bear did not figure out how to open the Mason jar with the dried meal worms in it.  Maybe he couldn’t smell them, or found them unappetizing.   I had begun keeping the treats indoors after the last bear sighting, but put the treats back outside in a hose caddy just last week.  (Creepy thought – is bear watching me from the brush?)  The hose caddy has a storage compartment in the top, the bear turned the whole thing over to get to his snack.

He (or she) moved a few feet, then took a swipe at our hummingbird feeder.  It was empty but for a few drops of nectar.  We found it on the ground and opened up as though the creature had thumbs.  It is glass, but not broken.  It won’t go back out until spring, though!

The bear traveled another 3 yards to pull down my Halloween corn stalk decoration at the base of the steps up to our porch.  It didn’t touch the pumpkin.  Do bears dislike pumpkin?  It’s a perfectly good pumpkin, why wouldn’t he eat that??  He moseyed another three yards, and opened the chicken’s plastic water bottle, which sat on a railroad tie next to our driveway.  The watering device was open, but unharmed.   Must have used those bear-thumbs to unscrew the lid.  The bear then stopped to nibble on a few pears, taking a big bite from each before tossing them back onto the ground.  Only one bite from each fruit.

Then the bear stopped to puke up all the chicken treats he or she had just consumed.  Nice big pile of bear vomit in the yard, corn and seeds undigested.  That apparently made the bear mad enough to slap our solar lights around, dismantling a couple in the process.  He also bit our ADT security sign and bent the sign post at a right angle before wandering into the night.  The sign looked like it had been pulled out of the ground and left, but when John went to pick it up, it was still in the ground.  Just bent to 90 degrees.

Despite the little bear rampage, he left my chicken coop alone.  Hooray!  I found an opossum in the coop eating chicken feed the other night and ran him off.  Snakes, bears, chickens, opossums, coyotes.  This place is a zoo.

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4 Comments on “Not-So-Gentle Ben”

  1. jennspeak Says:

    Thanks for the grin…..sounds like a young-ish one
    and inexperienced.
    Glad he didn’t destroy more.
    And glad that the guy who shot one in his garbage
    got fined.
    I know they’re annoying but geesh.
    -Jennifer

    Like

    Reply

  2. Mary Kilburn Says:

    Six THOUSAND black bears! in the mountains of North Carolina! May be time to come back to urban living, ALTHOUGH our predators don’t all have identical coats and are innumerable; many, it seems, spend a great deal of time wandering the legislative halls, perhaps the Capital’s equivalent of garbage cans? Or, are they looking for a corporate handout? Oh, I forgot, that PRECEDES election, in fact, makes it possible….

    Like

    Reply

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