Sunday, July 30, 2006

Bear on the Island

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! could be true.

You can read our latest newsletter here. It's about Ocracoke Islanders and "tokens of death."


  1. Anonymous7:04 PM

    Just wondering, what part of the island was the bear found on?

  2. The bear was found on the northeast shore of Pamlico Sound, between Oyster Creek & Jackson Dunes. The only way we could find it was by following very specific directions -- down a dirt lane, through the yard of a rental house, underneath a thicket of shrubs, briars, and wind-weathered trees, onto an isolated shore, and then out to a small "point." The carcass had washed up between two "fingers" of marsh grass. There was no way to see it unless you were standing practically on top of it. But there it was! I won't give any more specific directions because it was on a private shoreline.

  3. Anonymous9:32 PM

    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 (the one next to "jason`s" I think, they saw a bear run across the road from the beach side toward the sound. They were no sure a first what it was, but being from the western side of chesapeake va. we ocassionally see one that has been flushed out the woods because of some new housing development. They told the guy at the bait shop & he said there are no bears on the island that it must have a large rat! It was no rat. anyway, anyone else seen it? because it was a bear.

  4. See Journal Entry for Wednesday, May 30, 2007 for the latest news about a bear.