I’ve been vacationing in western North Carolina and northern Georgia since I was a kid. I arrive, marvel at the mountains and put on an unconvincing Southern drawl. In recent summers I’ve brought my own kids, too (picture tiny people saying “y’all” in a faintly French accent).
But last summer I got some scary news. Black bears — several mothers and their cubs — had been spotted near where we usually stay. I’d never seen a bear, or worried about them. But black bears are thriving in the region, and so are people, so “human-bear interactions” are becoming more common.