"How Dare You": Woman Scares Bear from North Carolina Deck Using "Teacher Voice"

"It works every time."

American black bear
Photo: Arterra/Getty Images

You'd better think twice before misbehaving on Debbie Tomlinson's watch.

The former high school teacher from Simpsonville, South Carolina, can scold with the best of them. Just ask the black bear who recently tried to steal the bird feeders from the porch of her condo in Sapphire, North Carolina.

Last week, when her husband informed her that there was a bear on their porch, when Tomlinson got her camera rolling. In a Facebook post, she explained that she spotted the "nursing mama bear whose young cub was foraging in the foliage below" headed for her feeders.

"I'm a bird-watcher, so I have feeders out, but I always bring them in at night because of the bears," Tomlinson told WYFF4. This evening, however, she hadn't brought the feeders in yet.

She knocked firmly on the glass door to hopefully deter the bear, but it was unphased.

"That was not OK," Tomlinson can be heard admonishing the bear.

After a couple more unsuccessful knocks, she told WYFF4 that it was time to bring out her "teacher voice."

"Get down from there! Get down from there right now. Go, go, go, go!" Tomlinson commanded the bear as it scrambled away. "You get down from my porch right now."

"What do you think you're doing on my porch?" Tomlinson asked as she walked towards the fleeing bear. "Get down. Go."

And then, the final blow.

"How dare you?" she asked as the bashful bear scampered off. The guilt!

"Well, of course I used it [the teacher voice]," she told WYFF. "It works every time. I wasn't afraid. I just didn't want to lose my feeders. It was very exciting."

Tomlinson told the local news station that black bears are common in the area and that they're particularly active this time of year.

"Last year, we saw a mama and three cubs ambling across the yard beside the condos," she said. "We keep our car doors locked as well. Bears know how to open them."

While black bear attacks on people are rare, such attacks have resulted in human fatalities. If you do encounter one, never run away from it. Instead, back away slowly and make lots of noise. Attempt to scare the animal away with loud shouts, by banging pans together, or throwing rocks and sticks at it. Or, simply scold it like a misbehaving teenager.

For more information, visit BeBearAware.org.

Be careful out there, y'all!

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