Many Areas Remain Closed Due To Bear Activities
Black bear activities in the Great Smoky Mountains still remains an issue. A Ohio teenage was pulled from
his hammock while camping with his father at a backcountry campsite. He suffered cuts to his head and other injuries. His father scared the bear away. The boy was taken to a hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. A black bear in the same area was caught and euthanized but if it was the same bear that attacked the teenager is unknown. Results from a DNA test are still not ready. DNA from the hair taken at the site of the attack were tested against the bear that was caught.
The park still has multiple area s closed due to bear activity and there are also several areas that have bear warning. Some of the areas closed include: Mount LeConte shelter, Cosby Knob shelter, Hazel Creek Trail (where the teen was attacked) and several backcountry campsites. Other areas with bear warnings include: Laurel Falls Trail, Mount LeConte Lodge area, Russell Field shelter and backcountry campsites 13 and 24.
For a complete listing go to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park website on black bears or if you are in the area visit a National Park Office or visitors center. Bears as well as other animals encountered in the Great Smoky Mountains are wild animals. They are unpredictable and can be quite dangerous, especially at certain times of the years when they are hungry and looking for food, or when they have their young with them. Mother black bears are very protective of their cubs in the spring and early summer months.
It is against the law in a National Park to get within 150 feet of bears and other wild animals. For your safety and the animal’s safety DO NOT APPROACH. If the animal approaches you should slowly back away, do not turn your back on the animal or run. The best closeup picture of a black bear is not worth your safety!
Watch the video Great Smoky Mountains Black Bears…