Monday Bear Blogging: Find Your Way Home Edition

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There is an old VC tradition of occasional Monday blog posts about bears, such as this item from 2015.

Over the weekend, I found an item that seemed appropriate for an ursine entry. Bear 609 was apparently causing trouble at a campsite and was relocated some 1,000 miles away. What happened next is the fun part.

From Backpacker:

On Wednesday, a local broadcast news channel in Knoxville reported the story of a determined black bear that had traveled across four states to return to its favorite feeding grounds, at a campsite in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The initial episode happened in June, when officials received complaints that a female black bear was grabbing food off picnic tables, sniffing trash cans, and even stealing backpacks. Wildlife crews trapped the animal and relocated her 1,000 miles to an area of South Cherokee National Forest in Georgia. Scientists labeled the animal Bear 609 and attached a geolocating device to it.

According to the report, wildlife biologists tracked Bear 609 as she proceeded to walk across Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina and then into Tennessee—eventually returning to the campsite where it had been trapped. . . .

There’s one more odd wrinkle to the story of Bear 609: After returning to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the bear ventured onward to Anderson, South Carolina. While walking through the small town, the bear came into contact with family members of one of the wildlife officials at the national park where its journey began. Lisa McInnis, chief of resource management and science at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, said her relatives sent her a photo they snapped of the bear walking across their driveway. She recognized the animal.

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