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.
Friends 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.