635869014084951182-bear-1(Asheville Citizen-Times) Last spring and summer, researchers tracked a black bear that traveled from Asheville to portions of Graham County, likely crossing roads and moving through populated areas along the 80-mile trek. But the bear didn’t stay put. He turned around and headed back to Asheville, according to wildlife biologist Mike Carraway. The round trip took several months.

“He just took off and explored other territory and decided that he liked Asheville better and came back,” Carraway said. The young bear was fitted with a GPS collar as part of a five-year study aimed at finding out more about urban and suburban bear populations in and around Asheville. The study is a joint effort between the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and N.C. State University, and it is in its second year.

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