03/11/14 — 'Da bear' at Cliffs of Neuse

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'Da bear' at Cliffs of Neuse

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on March 11, 2014 1:46 PM


A 600-pound black bear is now on display at the visitor center at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park. The bear was hit by a car in Wayne County in 2012 and has been donated to the Cliffs.

Visitors to Cliffs of the Neuse State Park will get to see a real black bear up close -- and they won't have to worry about being attacked.

The bear has been prepared by a taxidermist and mounted on a wooden base and is a new display at the Cliffs visitor center.

The 600-pound male black bear was hit by a car on I-795 in Wayne County back in fall 2012.

"It's taken us a year and a half to get it," park ranger Crystal Lloyd said. "It was donated to the park."

Ms. Lloyd said the black bear is what people will normally find in Eastern North Carolina, but not typically as big as this one was.

"He was having a pretty good life," Ms. Lloyd said. "He was eating well."

The park rangers don't have an age for the bear, but know he was older.

His skin wasn't harmed in the accident, Ms. Lloyd said.

"There were just a couple of bad spots, so he was actually perfect," she said. "He has a massive neck. He's a huge, huge bear for this area."

The bear's eyes are so lifelike that when you look into them, you would think the bear is getting ready to pounce on you any minute.

"It's scary to come in here at night and see those eyes," Ms. Lloyd said.

"We're so glad to finally have him here. People kept coming in and calling and asking when the bear would be here."