Asheville Woman Finds Bear Hibernating In Her Backyard

She doesn’t mind though, noting, “It was hers before it was mine.”

Black Bear in Brush

Smith Collection/Gado / Contributor/Getty Images

Asheville, North Carolina, resident Casey Vandergrift was just enjoying some fresh air on her back porch when she heard a strange noise. It was a sound that she described as a "sad whimper" and immediately went to see if she could help an animal in distress.

"I thought it was a dying dog,” she told the group Help Asheville Bears, or HAB. “I mean it was just a sad whimper." That small noise wasn’t from a dog in need, though. It was a full-grown bear who had made a den in her brush-filled backyard. Guess she’s lucky it wasn’t in her jacuzzi.

Not sure what to do with her new neighbor, Vandergrift reached out to HAB, which helps humans find peaceful solutions for co-existing and co-living with bears (no word on how they feel about shared dance parties, though). The group posted about the encounter on its Facebook page and shared the video with the local NBC affiliate, WYFF News 4.

The group’s founder, Jody Williams, thought it was possible the bear was getting ready for winter a little early because it could be a pregnant female and she could be nesting before giving birth to cubs in January. "It was the absolute perfect spot for a bear to den up," he told WYFF. 

For her part, Vandergrift doesn’t really mind sharing her piece of the great outdoors with the bear, noting: “It was hers before it was mine.”

We hope for both Vandergrift and her four-legged visitor to have a calm, peaceful winter.

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