CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Black bears with missing limbs have reportedly been spotted in western North Carolina - and they’re worrying some residents.
Help Asheville Bears, a nonprofit organization, says they received several videos from people in Arden, NC, of mother bears with only three legs. At least 8 cases have been confirmed, with the most recent confirmation happening Thursday, the group told WBTV.
“We don’t know who and how, but 5 bears have the same type injury which can really only be caused by a trap,” the group said in a previous Facebook post. “Bear paws are one of the items illegally sold to China.”
Heather Williams commented about similar cases in east Asheville.
Justin McVey with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission told WLOS the bear population has been increasing in the area. He told the station the animals get hit by cars “all the time,” and that bears with three legs is not uncommon.
Video shared with WLOS appears to show a mother bear of three cubs missing part of her leg.
Although some worried the missing limbs could be a result of bear traps, McIvey tells WLOS a trap wouldn’t pull off a body part.
Still, Help Asheville Bears is hoping to gather more information.
“Your videos and pictures are key to finding factual information to truly determine what is happening to the bears around Asheville,” the group posted.