At least 35 bears have been struck and killed since May 2018 in the 28-mile stretch of I-40 between the Maggie Valley exit and the Foothills Parkway in Tennessee. The Pigeon River Gorge Wildlife Connectivity Project, a joint effort of at least 19 governmental and nonprofit groups, is working to bring that death rate down.
Municipal officials, wildlife experts and WNC residents talk bear-resistant trash cans, bird feeders and educational initiatives designed to protect citizens and wildlife living in close proximity to each other.
Over the last 40 years, the black bear has experienced a steady and stable rise, even as they continue to lose their natural habitats to development. This is particularly true in Asheville. Can a peaceful existence continue between man and bear?