BOONE, NC (WBTV) - For a couple of weeks now, people at one apartment complex near Boone just off of Highway 321 have had a special guest at one end of the parking lot - a bear.
It has been in and around a dumpster there finding something to eat. That’s not unusual, say experts, but there’s something else in this case, says Samantha Yopp.
“He’s injured,” she says.
Samantha says the end the right hind leg “is gone, you can’t see a paw.”
Jody Williams of Help Asheville Bears, a non-profit group, thinks the bear may have been the victim of poachers trying to catch it with a steel bear trap. It does happen, he says, that a bear can sometimes still escape from the trap even with an injury as serious as losing a paw.
Yopp shot some video and it shows the bear limping but still getting around.
Williams thinks the wound has healed over but on Tuesday he set up several wildlife cameras hoping to get a better look. If the bear can still fend for itself and get around, it should be OK, he says. If the injury is serious and the bear is suffering, wildlife officers will be alerted. They will have to decide what comes next, says Williams.
As for people living nearby, the bear should not pose an issue, say experts, as long as no one approaches it.
The area is surrounded by thick woods and there are places for the bear to go. Eventually it will move on, says Williams.