ASHEVILLE, NC – Locals have spotted a number of Pumpkin Bears in the woods outside Asheville. Authorities estimate that there are close to two dozen Pumpkin Bears on the loose, which is typical for this time of year. After all, it is mating season!
This isn’t the first time that Pumpkin Bears have been seen in North Carolina. Back in the 1990s, there were a number of sightings. Some people in North Carolina were afraid of the bears, but when Todd Cochran from the Fish & Game Commission studied the bears he determined that they were friendly. “They wouldn’t ever harm a human. That’s for sure,” said Cochran.
The Pumpkin Bears usually can be seen only for one or two weeks of the year. “They hibernate for about 10-11 months a year,” Cochran told Weekly World News. “They only come out when they need to breed,” Cochran added. “When they are in heat, that’s the only time we humans are lucky enough to see them.”
HOW DID THEY GET THEIR PUMPKIN HEADS?
Many people wonder if they pumpkins on the heads of the bears are just stuck on, like a toupee or if that is the bear’s actual head. We turned to a Pumpkin Bear Specialist (PBS), Wanda Michaels to find out the truth.
“Those pumpkin heads, those are real,” said Ms. Michaels. “Sometimes a black bear will be rooting around the garbage this time a year and get a pumpkin stuck on his head. That does happen. But these Pumpkin Bears, they are a species all their own.
Michaels told Weekly World News that about fifty years ago there were some pumpkins in the patch that came alive. “We aren’t sure if it was due to some weird lightning or some electrical forces or some other weird occurrence, but the pumpkins seemed to come alive,” Michaels said. The human-like pumpkins got to be the size of a small bear and they wandered the woods in late October.
“That’s when some black bears took a liking to them, and well… they made a new species,” Michaels said. “This happens all the time in nature. There are some things that just can’t be fully explained. Darwin didn’t even have all the answers.
THE PUMPKIN BEAR HUNT
Michaels is out the wood right now, trying to track down a Pumpkin Bear. “If we get lucky, we can see them mating. It’s as rare as a panda bear mating. It would be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Local police are also making sure that no hunters (or poachers) are in the woods trying to kill a Pumpkin Bear. Everybody seems to want a Pumpkin Bear head on their mantle, but if you shoot one, you will be in jail for a very long time.
Even though Pumpkin Bears are friendly, authorities advise citizens of North Carolina to keep their distance. “We don’t know yet what effect humans have on them,” Sheriiff Dunkelton said. “And for God’s sake, do not give the Pumpkin Bears any candy!”