Three-legged bears popping up around NC mountains

Three-legged bears popping up around NC mountains
Bears with missing limbs have been spotted in western North Carolina - and they’re worrying some residents. (Source: Facebook screenshot | Help Asheville Bears)

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.

This morning, these photos and video taken in Arden of a mother bear missing part of her left leg with 3 cubs were sent...

Posted by Help Asheville Bears on Thursday, August 22, 2019

“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.

Mama bear and 3 cubs demolish birdfeeder

Meanwhile in Arden... 🐻🐻🐻🐻 Look carefully and you can see the mama bear is missing her left front leg. Share your own wildlife video with us here: Video: Cindy Jones of Arden

Posted by WLOS ABC 13 on Saturday, August 17, 2019

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.

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