ASHEVILLE – Someone else at the top of the food chain visited the Governor's Western Residence off Town Mountain Road over Labor Day weekend.
Gov. Pat McCrory has posted video of a bear wandering around the patio of the home on his official YouTube feed and tweeted "what a cool encounter!"
Odds are that several other people have seen this particular bear, as its range includes several populated areas.
A GPS collar she is wearing shows the bear is one of several in the area researchers with N.C. State University and the state Wildlife Resources Commission are tracking as part of a four-year study to learn more about the habits of urban and suburban bears.
A map of the bear's movements that researchers gave to McCrory's office indicates the bear has been spending most of her time in an oval-shaped area about 2 or 2.5 miles long east of the Grove Park Inn that includes parts of Sunset Mountain, Chunns Cove, where she was collared May 8, and Beaverdam.
The bear did make an excursion another mile or so to the northeast to the area around Craven Gap, where Town Mountain Road ends at the Blue Ridge Parkway. That's about 3 miles northeast of the Governor's Western Residence.
McCrory spokesman Ryan Tronovich said researchers told him the bear is an adult female weighing 140.5 pounds.
On the short video, the person shooting it can be heard telling McCrory "Don't come up here," then that the bear was about 10 feet away.
"Be careful. Don't do anything stupid," McCrory responded.