Bear Sightings On the Increase in Park

Bear Sightings On the Increase This Year in Great Smoky Mountains

Park Rangers are warning visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains about an increase in bear activity in the park this year. Multiple bear sightings  have been reported recently in certain areas of the park. Mother bears and their cubs have been spotted on several occasions this spring. Getting too close to the bears are a hazard to the bears and to humans. Park Services is warning visitors to avoid getting closer than 100 yards to bears and cubs and
not to chase or approach a bear for any reason. Safely watch the bear(s) from a distance without disturbing the animal(s).

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GSMNP Black Bears

Many times when a bear is spotted in the park especially near a highway people pull over in their cars and an excited crowd can quickly gather. The excitement can result in a dangerous situation for all. Some people run toward the bears to get a great picture or even try to feed the bears. This type of activity is strongly discouraged. While seeing a bear is an exciting addition to any visit to the Great Smoky Mountains please remember to proceed with caution.

The areas that have the increased bear sightings include: Russell Field Shelter; Mt. LeConte Lodge and Shelter areas; Shuckstack Tower on the Appalachian Trail; Backcountry Campsites 24 and 113.

Just remember the wildlife in the park is just that-wild and unpredictable. Mothers and cubs are on the move looking food. Please follow all guidelines by the Park Service for your sake and the bears.

These guys got it right…


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