Yesterday, on the way home from yet another fabulous surf and paddleboard trip, my boyfriend and I spotted a Louisiana Black Bear! We were traveling from Florida and were commenting on all the 'development' and deforestation going on outside our car window. As we get into Louisiana, pass by New Orleans and through Baton Rouge, just before the Atchafalaya Basin, (one of the most diverse ecosystems in our nation and the LARGEST swamp in the US!) we spotted the bear.
These bears are rarely spotted and we've been looking to spot one on every camping trip!
But we were worried. What if the bear was struck? It was also getting dark.
I called a friend who is on the Board of the BBCC: Black Bear Conservation Coalition. http://www.bbcc.org/
He said to call the State Police and they'd notify LA WildLife and Fisheries, who would then relocate the bear, if possible, away from the Interstate.
Anyway, I also find out you can put your private land back into trees as a wildlife habitat and the BBCC will help!
Paddleboarding in the South sure is an adventure, glad we didn't encounter him out in the swamp!
On that note, we did have two crazy encounters will gators lately! Our first encounter was with a gator that we thought for dead! Really. Flies swarming and tail flattened by a tire, presumably. We threw some rocks nearby to see if we could safely pass: no movement. My boyfriend threw one last stone near the gator and BAM! he swung his head toward us and we fled, never to see how long or even if, he gave chase!! The second encounter must of been a female, she reared out of the water tossed her tail, and growled!! Ha. Yep! But then she gently swam away. We heeded her warning and quietly left.
Most of the time, these gators are docile, but to my fellow Southern paddleboarders: keep your eyes open!
The swamp is a beautiful, wild place to play. Help promote awareness of this unique corner of the world. Check out http://www.laceydu.com/ and learn more about Coastal Restoration. A portion of sales from my jewelry goes to Coastal Restoration projects!