If you’ve ever wondered whether or not bears like music, you might finally find your answer in the viral “Techno Bear” video now circulating on social media.
East-Asheville based Jody Flemming is a former Smoky Mountains National park ranger turned full-timer realtor and self-described part-time “quarantine-induced home DJ.”
Flemming’s Youtube channel features full-length livestream DJ sessions showcasing a variety of music from ambient sounds, to rock, to techno remixes.
But one of his most popular videos features a rather unexpected special guest who decides to join the party: A giant black bear.
In the video, Flemming can be seen bopping along to the music and manning his turntables completely unaware that his tunes had attracted the attention of a rather large wild black bear.
As the camera rolls, the bear can be seen standing on its hind legs in an upright position and leaning against the glass screen door in the background.
According the National Park Service, bears often stand on their hind legs to get a better look when they are curious about something. This posture is rarely seen as threatening.
In the video, after realizing his tunes had attracted the unlikely backup dancer, Flemming is seen grabbing his phone to snap a photo just as the bear makes its getaway.
Flemmings then returns to his turntables without missing a beat (DJ joke) and completes his set unshaken.
“I was just minding my business doing a DJ livestream, when I felt that I wasn’t alone. I looked over my shoulder, and saw that I had a wild black bear visitor who definitely wasn’t on the guest list, but I’m glad he came,” says Flemming on his channel.
The Citizen Times originally reported on the story.
“I just started playing and kind of got into the first track and I kept hearing this sound. I didn’t really know what it was,” Flemming told the Citizen Times.
“It was my neighbor in the street blowing their horn. That kind of alerted me that something was going on. And so I turned around — in the video it was really more backlit than it looks — and I just saw this figure. I thought it was maybe my neighbor coming to tell me my music was too loud. I got kind of halfway over and said, ‘Oh, there’s a bear there.’”
In just a few days, the video has now been viewed a combined 100,000 times between Flemming’s channel and Cater Clips, who now own licensing rights to the video.
Flemming says he plans on donating 20 percent of his Youtube earnings to the Western North Carolina Nature Center.
The video below has been embedded for your viewing enjoyment, with permission from Cater Clips.
What to do if you see a black bear in the Smokies
With every bear story we share, we also like to share safety tips about black bears.
The park service offers several tips if you encounter a bear in areas near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
- If a bear seems to have taken interest in you, talk calmly to it so the bear knows you are a human and not a prey animal. Stand your ground but slowly wave your arms.
- Know that a standing bear (like this one) is usually curious, not threatening.
- Move to higher ground if possible, and stay calm. Remember that most bears do not want to attack.
- Bears may sometimes react defensively by wooﬁng, yawning, salivating, growling, snapping their jaws, and laying their ears back. Do not scream to make sudden movements, as this may trigger an attack.
- Pick up small children immediately.
- And last but not least never ever offer a bear food. It’s not only bad for the bear, it’s also illegal.
Where is Asheville NC?
Asheville is home to the Blue Ridge Mountain Range.
The Blue Ridge Mountains and the Smoky Mountains are both part of the Southern Appalachian Mountains where black bear sightings are common.
Have you ever experienced an unexpected bear sighting in the Smokies? Let us know in the comments.