Bears in North Carolina

Bears in North Carolina

I spent an entire day looking for bears … and crocodiles. In 2013, I visited the Outer Banks for the first time. On my last, full day, I ventured inland to the Alligator River National Wildlife Preserve.

All morning I drove around the preserve, hoping to spot the reptiles it was named for and maybe even bears! But no luck. It was drizzling and miserable. I took a break around noon to visit the nearby aquarium.

After my break, I cam back to work. Eventually, I found the actual trails people can walk. It was peaceful and lovely. Still no bears. I am about to get in my car and leave since it is nearly dusk. A group of tourists call out to me, “Hey, did you see the bears down the road?”

I jumped into my car and tracked them down. I followed a mama bear and her cubs for as long as could. They seemed completely unfazed. Eventually, they got close enough to smell the container in my car that had held my fish sandwich from lunch. Their noses poking the air like they were pin pointing the scent. And with only 100 or 200 feet between us, that’s when I knew it was time to drive back to my hotel. A successful trip!