About four years ago (??) reports circulated through the village -- a bear had been spotted swimming in the sound, not far from Ocracoke. One fisherman even said the bear had tried to climb into his skiff. The Park Service was alerted. Campers were warned. It was high drama.
Bears, of course, are good swimmers; and there are plenty of bears on Hyde Co. mainland, but I had never heard of a bear on Ocracoke before. Over time Ocracokers quit talking about the bear or looking for it. It had disappeared. Maybe it had swum up to Hatteras, or across the inlet to Portsmouth.
This morning Amy called. Visitors told her they had found a bear carcass on the sound shore near their rental home. Sure enough, we rode our bikes up there, and there it was. Badly deteriorated, and about four feet long, it was a youngster. Whether or not it was the same bear folks saw several years ago, or another unfortunate critter, we couldn't tell. But it did help confirm the rumours. So if you hear that there is a bear lurking around the island, beware!....it could be true.
You can read our latest newsletter here. It's about Ocracoke Islanders and "tokens of death."