When expecting a delivery, most people keep an eye out for the UPS truck. At one North Carolina home, it wasn't a human waiting to intercept the package.
It was a black bear.
When Asheville woman Marcy Lanier returned home last Friday, she found an unusual note in her mailbox. The "Sorry we missed you" note from her UPS delivery person cited, "Bear in driveway," as the reason her package could not be delivered.
"Only in Asheville!" Lanier wrote in a Facebook post Friday. Her story has gone viral, being shared over 3,000 times. Commenters have chimed in with some advice for handling the situation.
"Perhaps grin and bear it and use FedEx next time?" said one person.
Another chastised Lanier, saying "Yes, you should really tie your bear up or put him inside when you're expecting a delivery!"
In an interview with WLOS News 13, Lanier said bears spend a lot of time in her neighborhood. Her mailbox is at the top of her street, so the delivery driver was able to safely leave the note and her package there, rather than facing down the animal to leave it on her porch.
"So there was a bear in the driveway, so he couldn't drop it off on my front porch. He normally drops my packages on my front porch. So that's how it happened. He could stay safe in his truck, on the road."
A year ago, ABC 11 reported a black bear opened an unlocked car door in the same north Asheville neighborhood. The animal was possibly attracted to some snacks left inside and totaled the car trying to get out. The sheriff and a game warden had to release the animal from the car.
A 2017 map created by North Carolina State University and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission shows that black bears spend a lot of time within the city limits of Asheville. The North Carolina Urban/Suburban Bear Study recommends that residents stay "bear wise" and avoid potentially harmful interactions with their furry neighbors.
Ursus americanus, commonly known as the American black bear, is the only species of bear that calls North Carolina home. According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, they can be found in about 60 percent of the state.
"Black bears tend to be shy and non-aggressive toward humans. There has not been an unprovoked bear attack in North Carolina."The commission warns against feeding bears, noting that "frequent human-bear contact can cause bears to become more bold and visible around humans."