Black Bears of Eastern
North Carolina
North Carolina’s black bears are BIG--and getting BIGGER! The last two world record black bears, by weight, have come from North Carolina, including the current world record 880 pound black bear from the Coastal Plain. The 780 pound bear on display at Bear-Ology was the 2nd largest bear in North Carolina at the time it was harvested in Plymouth in 2012. Since that time bigger bears have been harvested here in the eastern part of the state.
There is a simple explanation: Coastal North Carolina is the breadbasket of the state. There are huge farms producing a variety of crops: corn, soy beans, wheat, oats, peanuts, sweet potatoes, and watermelons, most of which bears love to eat. Almost every acre that can be cultivated is in production, with the exception of tree farms growing timber for sawmills and the paper industry. The balance of the rural landscape is swamp. The bottom line is that bears live in the forests and swamps that border their restaurants: farm fields producing high protein crops. With the mild winters, eastern North Carolina bears feed more months of the year than northern bears. As a result they grow bigger in North Carolina than anywhere else.
Bear Facts
  • Coastal NC has the world’s largest black bears.
  • The Albemarle/Pamlico Peninsula has the highest black bear densities in the world.
  • There is an average of 4 bears per square mile here.
  • The current world record black bear is from Eastern NC and weighed 880 lbs.
  • There are bears over 880 lbs still walking around Eastern NC today.
  • Black bears have a prey mentality instead of a predator mentality.>
  • Bears don’t stand up to intimidate you. It is for a better view and to get a better scent.
  • Black bears are found in 35 states.
  • Bear-Ology Black Bear Museum is in Plymouth, NC.
  • Plymouth is “base camp” for the best public bear viewing in NC