PHOTOS: North Carolina College Students Mistake Massive Bear for Bigfoot

by Jon D. B.

What’s that in the woods? A… Bear? A man in a bear suit? Bigfoot? This North Carolina Outsider captured a rare sight last week – and it’s one you have to see for yourself!

All Outsiders are familiar with bears standing on their hind legs. Most species will, in fact, do so often. From scratching that itch they just can’t reach on a tree, to taking in sights and smells, to showing their size and intimidating foes; it’s a well-documented behavior across most species that holds many meanings.

This does not, however, make it any less remarkable to witness in person. Such was the case last week for a North Carolina Outsider. The sight was so bizarre to his eyes, in fact, that the young man mistook it for a Bigfoot sighting.

“To be honest, when we both first saw it, we weren’t even sure it was real!” local Charlotte Observer quotes of Erin McAllister, our “Bigfoot spotter.”

McAllister’s images showcase a 5-foot-tall American black bear standing in a grassy knoll just outside a Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge forest. In his first shot, the bear stares off into the distance. His next capture, however, came as the black bear turned its gaze directly for him.

“It was standing so still and stoically. We had both never seen black bears in the wild before — but my boyfriend … could tell right away that the bear in that standing position seemed kind of unnatural and odd,” McAllister notes of the sighting. “It stood in that position for close to 10 minutes.”

What a pose!

NC Students Spot ‘Bigfoot’-like Bear in Nature Refuge: ‘He Seemed Wholly Unbothered By Us’

A student at East Carolina Univesity, McAllister captured the photos while doing a bit of exploring with fellow student Zachary Allen near the coast.

“He seemed wholly unbothered by us, and aside from a slight glance our direction, continued looking towards the forest on the other side of the road,” McAllister tells The Charlotte Observer.

Both from Union County, the young men believe the black bear was “looking for something” after spotting several “friends” (fellow black bears) who had run off into the distance.

“After a few minutes, I noticed a group of three similarly sized black bears run in front of our car… Once this standing bear saw them, he quickly lowered himself back onto all fours, and ran off into the woods to meet them,” McAllister continues.

Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is a massive 63,896 acre reserve that houses around “four bears per square mile,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cites.

While bears standing this straight onto their hind legs can be a tragic sign of malnutrition, the young men’s further observations thankfully point to a common black bear trait instead: curiosity.

As for Bigfoot, the bear is lucky it’s not an Oklahoma resident. The state recently proposed a full-fledged Bigfoot hunting season.