On Monday reader Paul Dodd left a new comment on an earlier post "Bear on the Island":
"My family & I were starting our summer vacation(s) this weekend staying at the nps campground. My daughter`s boyfriend & another young fellow that came with us got up early Sunday for some fishing and while heading down to the bait shop.....they saw a bear run across the road from the beach side toward the sound.
"They were not sure at first what it was, but being from the western side of Chesapeake Va. we occasionally see one that has been flushed out of the woods because of some new housing development. [We were told that] there are no bears on the island, that it must have been a large rat! It was no rat. Anyway, anyone else seen it? Because it was a bear."
Well, I know we've had bears on the island before. It is certainly not common, though. Some of our readers may remember hearing stories several years ago about a bear that swam over to the island and was seen by a number of boaters and other folks. I'm even told it tried to climb into one unfortunate fellow's skiff! Just about a year ago a visitor alerted me to a bear carcass that she found on a remote section of our soundside beach. Sure enough, there it was.
I remember many times my father telling me that his father told of a traveling entertainer who came to Ocracoke more than a hundred years ago with a trained bear. He must have made quite an impression on islanders!
I was relating the latest story to friends when I discovered that one of our park rangers has seen this recent ursine visitor. Apparently the rangers have posted notices around the island so residents and visitors will be on the lookout.
If you see the bear stay out of his way. I'll bet he's hungry. And send us your story. We'll keep you updated.
Take a journey back in time with our latest Ocracoke Newsletter. You can capture some of the thrill of riding on the old mailboat Aleta by clicking here.