N Carolina town celebrates plentiful black bear neighbors

June 1, 2019 GMT

PLYMOUTH, N.C. (AP) — A coastal North Carolina community is celebrating being home to some of the world’s largest black bears.

The NC Black Bear Festival celebrates its fifth anniversary in Plymouth on Saturday. Last year’s 30,000 visitors came from more than 18 States and four foreign countries.

Northeast North Carolina’s low-lying territory is home to a concentration of black bears that often grow to 700 pounds. They enjoy a mild climate, a national wildlife refuge and fields of corn and wheat for pilfering.

The festival features bear-themed activities like a mechanical black bear ride, a black bear tent theater, and make-your-own bear. The festival also hosts bear tours on a local wildlife refuge and presentations by bear biologists.