WRAL.com at the State Fair

Still the Best Bear for Your Buck

Posted October 19, 2006 12:34 a.m. EDT

In my opinion the best dollar spent at the Fair is still Bear Country, a trailer of bears on the far side of Dorton Arena in the corner near Hillsborough Street. The addition of a couple of Silver Syrian bears (very energetic Syrian bears!) makes the exhibit even more fun.

The other bears have learned some new tricks too. One bear can roll what looks like a length of drainage ditch tubing over to a wall of the trailer, climb on it, and stand on it, balancing on her hind legs, while she looks for peanuts on a high shelf. This is absolutely adorable when she does it from the wall opposite the observation window.

When the takes the same tubing, rolls it against the wall where you're standing, leaps on it and slams into the observation window -- making the whole trailer tremble -- it's not adorable. It's amazing, and shriek-inducing, and will seriously wake you up.

Please visit Bear Country if you get a chance. You'll get to learn a lot about the plight of wild bears in the United States, and see some beautiful animals up close.