Black Bear Population Quadruples In Eastern Carolina

From cookouts to highways, it seems that we have seen a lot more black bears in the east this year. Now, new numbers tell us why: there are more of them.

There have been black bear sightings reported in a Winterville neighborhood July 19th. The next day, a black bear and car collided on NC 118 near Riverside Road in Craven County.

Now the North Carolina Wildlife Commission is crunching the numbers, showing in 1980 there were nearly 2,000 black bears in eastern North Carolina. That number has quadrupled to more than 10,000 bears today.

Wildlife officials said they are now considering changes to bear hunting laws because the population has grown so much.

Reports indicate the bears are living as far west as Interstate 95.