Black bears are dangerous and unpredictable wild animals. Do not approach bears or allow them to approach you. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States where black bears can live in wild, natural surroundings.
Is bear spray necessary in the Smoky Mountains?
Bear spray is legal for self defense in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Although you probably won’t need to use it, the peace of mind and security of knowing you have it on your hip so you can enjoy your hiking, camping or swimming is priceless.
Are there bear attacks in Gatlinburg?
GATLINBURG, Tenn. — A 16-year-old girl was sleeping in a hammock at a backcountry campsite in Great Smoky Mountains National Park when a bear attacked her. According to park officials, the girl was camping with her family at Backcountry Campsite 29. The attack happened around 12:30 a.m. on Friday.
How likely is it to see a bear in the Smoky Mountains?
Location of Bears in the Smokies
With approximately 1,500 bears in the park, the population density is roughly two bears per square mile! This means that bear sightings in the park are not uncommon, especially during the early morning and late evening hours in spring and summer when they are the most active.
What do you do if you encounter a black bear in the Smoky Mountains?
If you find yourself near a black bear in the Smoky Mountains, you should change directions and move away from the bear. If the bear notices you and follows you, stand your ground and make loud noises to scare it away. You can even throw non-food items such as rocks near it to scare the bear.
What dangerous animals live in the Smoky Mountains?
Of the nearly two-dozen species of snakes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, only two are venomous: The Timber Rattlesnake and the Northern Copperhead. Though you’ll occasionally see snakes slinking through the Smokies, a fatal snakebite has never been reported.
Are there wolves in the Smoky Mountains?
Sometime this fall, wildlife biologists will trap the last four red wolves still loose in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which straddles the Tennessee-North Carolina border. … About 75 red wolves still roam free on and around two large wildlife refuges in northeastern North Carolina.
What to do if you see a bear in Gatlinburg?
If a bear persistently follows or approaches you, without vocalizing, or paw swatting:
- Change your direction.
- If the bear continues to follow you, stand your ground.
- If the bear gets closer, talk loudly or shout at it.
- Act aggressively to intimidate the bear.
- Act together as a group if you have companions.
How many black bears are in Cades Cove?
Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the park; this is the largest population ever recorded in the Smokies. This equals a population density of approximately two bears per square mile.
Are the Smoky Mountains dangerous?
Based on data from the National Park Service, the outdoor travel guide ranked national parks based on the number of deaths that occured there from 2010 to 2020. … The data listed 92 deaths that occured over the decade at GSMNP.
What time of year are bears most dangerous?
Fatal bear attacks seem to correlate with visitor volume to parks. Most of the fatalities have happened during July and August, when trails are heavily populated. Attacks are minimal December through April, when most bears are hibernating for the winter and spring.
Where is the best place to see a bear in Gatlinburg?
One of the top places to see bears in the Smoky Mountains is at the Ober Gatlinburg Wildlife Encounter. This privately funded zoo provides a unique opportunity to see native wildlife up close in a safe environment, making it a great place to see a bear in Gatlinburg.
Can you drive through Cades Cove?
The Loop is a one-way (one-lane) paved road. The scenic driving tour through the Cades Cove Loop takes approximately two to four hours depending on traffic. … From early May through late September, only bicycle and foot traffic are allowed on the Cades Cove Loop until 10 a.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
How do you fend off a black bear attack?
Black Bears: If you are attacked by a black bear, DO NOT PLAY DEAD. Try to escape to a secure place such as a car or building. If escape is not possible, try to ﬁght back using any object available. Concentrate your kicks and blows on the bear’s face and muzzle.
What to do if you are approached by a black bear?
Stand and face the bear directly. Never run away from or approach him. Make yourself look as big as possible by spreading your arms or, better yet, a coat. Make as much noise as possible by yelling, banging pots and pans or using other noisemaking devices.
Would a black bear eat a pig?
While their diet consists of mostly roots, berries, meat, fish, insects, larvae, grass, and other succulent plants, black bears are also known to prey on small mammals, including mule deer and wild hogs.