Front Porch Blog

Open Thread

Like many of you, I grew up in the “country,” and I’ve created my share of roadkill. Rabbits, birds, frogs, and even a possum. About 3 years ago, a deer did $4,000 of damage to my mom’s car (which can’t be worth more than a case of good beer… I still havent gotten my head around that one. 🙂 )
Of course, like many of you, I’ve almost hit deer, and skunks, and even the occasional biker.

However, you can imagine my delight (and suprise) today when I came right up on one of these beautiful creatures just across the TN line…in the middle of the road.

Still just a cub, a collision between the young bear and a vehicle would undoubtedly leave the automobile the worse off. Looking like a 3 month old puppy that hasnt quite grown into its own legs and feet yet, he sauntered along the small highway – still misty from rain. The cub stared at my stopped car, gave a curious look, then sort of rambled up a steep bank into thick underbrush.

The underbrush, I learned on the return trip, was the boundary of a cowfield on the other side of the hill. That black bear cub may well have had himself hamburgers for dinner.

Not to be confused with the Asiatic black bear, the American black bear is found in every Canadian province, all the way down to Mexico, and 39 of the 50 US states, ranging from the Pacific to the Atlantic. The population has gone from a high of around 2 million to a recent low of 200,000. Recent estimates, however, suggest that the bear population has grown to near 600,000 in North America.

Like my mom, the black bear measures around five feet. However, unlike my spritely and spirited mother, grown male bears can weigh nearly 900 lbs.





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