Posted by: panthertown | April 1, 2016

Polar Bear in Panthertown! USFS Closes Hiking Trails

Rare Polar Bear Sighting in Panthertown

A rare polar bear (Ursus maritimus) sighting in Panthertown

PANTHERTOWN VALLEY, NC (Published 4/1/2016) –

A rare polar bear (Ursus maritimus) sighting in Panthertown has prompted U.S. Forest Service officials to close all trails in the forest until further notice.

Nantahala District Ranger Mike Wilkins was reported to have been heard discussing the situation with North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission biologists, “Unlike other bear species, polar bears are almost exclusively meat eaters (carnivorous). We don’t want any hikers to become an easy food source for these beasts.”

Sources claim the bear was first seen bathing in the pool below Schoolhouse Falls and again on top of Little Green Mountain. Be safe out there folks. Don’t feed the bears.

Story update: Ranger Wilkins has issued an official statement encouraging mountain bikers and equestrians to continue using the trails since they can move more quickly than hikers and would provide tasty bear bait. Officials hope the rare polar bear will follow the horses and bikes out of Panthertown and into nearby neighborhoods.

News at 11.

Bears in PanthertownFriends of Panthertown is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Join Friends to help us protect and maintain Panthertown Valley for all to enjoy. Even polar bears. Click here for info about black bear activity (Ursus americanus) in Panthertown.


  1. So! It IS April Fools Day!

  2. I knew there were penguins too!!!!

    Happy April 1st!

    Wendy LeMay

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. The bear IS beautiful—tell us about the picture please!

  4. April Fool!!

  5. Hee hee hee. 🙂

  6. we were totally hoodwinked!! Good work!! love you guys, Dr. and MRs. William Bock (formerly friends of Panthertown :))

  7. I saw that bear in there a month ago… It was drinking a Coke !


  8. Well done!!

  9. You had me until “…follow them into neighborhoods”, excellent April Fool’s joke!

  10. I read this to my friend and kept saying this is crazy!! And how stupid they want to lure it with bikers and equestrian (bad enough)….. But into neighborhoods ??!!! Then I’m looking at the pic saying that’s not s black bear, not a polar, I think it’s a pale grizzly… And so the conversation went.
    Well done!! Great april fools post 🙂

  11. Thanks for that Jason! Loved it!

  12. Darn, and we had to leave.

  13. I was wondering how he got there. A long hike across the states under the cover of darkness I guess.

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