ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Asheville police officers helped a black bear that had wandered into downtown Thursday afternoon by ensuring the animal had a safe space before it moved off, police said in a Facebook post Friday.

The bear, which police noted was wearing a tracking collar, crossed a street at a crosswalk and climbed a tree in the Pritchard Park area.

Police noted that it was the third time in three weeks that officers have responded to bears downtown.


APD officers responded to an unusual call Thursday afternoon of a bear milling around downtown and then eventually climbing a tree in the Pritchard Park area. The black bear, wearing a Wildlife enforcement tracking collar, seemed to want a day in the park, where lots of people were enjoying their day downtown. Officers wanted to help get the bear safely out of the area by helping give the bear space to mosey along. At one point the bear even crossed the street by using the crosswalk. Although officers appreciated the law-abiding bear, it was important to get the bear back to a wooded area for safety. This is the third incident APD officers have assisted in getting bears out of the downtown area in the past three weeks. Always be aware of your surroundings. We recommend following the recommendations listed on (Courtesy video below)

Posted by Asheville Police Department on Friday, April 22, 2022

N.C. wildlife officials this week issued tips to help residents co-exist safely with bears, which are most frequently found in the mountains and in coastal areas, although they are growing more common in the Piedmont.

Bear sightings increase from May to July, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission noted Thursday.

If you see a bear, do not approach it but allow it to leave on its own, the agency said.