A bear and her cub sit in an oak tree outside a home near the Grove Park Inn on Thursday. The bears prowled around the yard all day before getting in the tree as it started to rain. / Jon Ostendorfffirstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Jon Ostendorff, The Citizen-Times
ASHEVILLE - Marilyn Patton said it started with an early morning visit from a family of turkeys.
Behind the birds, came the bear cubs.
They ran around her yard near the Grove Park Inn. She watched from inside with caretaker Deana Banks.
"We thought, 'Oh how cute,'" she said. "And then momma arrived. We decided it wasn't so cute anymore."
They got into the garbage and bird feeders. They later climbed an oak tree just feet from her front door.
The mother lay on a big limb as it poured rain. The cubs ran from that limb to others in the tree.
Patton watched it all from inside her house. She had a particularly good view from her front window.
"I haven't been out of the house all day. I've been watching those darn animals," she said. "They are amazing."
Banks called for help but officials told her the state wildlife office was closed for the holiday and would not be able to come out. County animal control doesn't handle bears.
City police sent a sergeant but there was nothing he could do.
Banks had hoped to go home Thursday night but didn't feel good about walking out the door and down the steps to her car in the dark.
"I'm going to sleep here," she said. "I will not be going tonight. If you stumble out there and the babies are out there, the mom doesn't know the intentions. And I can't eat enough to be big enough to fight off momma."