It borders on the sadly humorous that so much worry is apportioned to the potential for bear attacks in our region. Yes, such an event is possible, and yes, it is more likely as we invade traditional bear territory.
But let’s get some perspective here. The rate of murders in the Asheville area is approximately 10 per 100,000 people; the rate of rapes, 48 per 100,000; the rate of assault, 335 per 100,000. This, by the way, is per year. The number of people killed by black bears in the past 20 years is 25, and most of these incidents occurred in Canada and Alaska.
Are bears potentially dangerous? Absolutely. Some simple precautions and much common sense need to be employed when dealing with them. But I would move that we should focus our concerns and our containment efforts on a spectacularly more dangerous and indiscriminately violent local species, Homo sapiens.
— Gary Simonds