Pisgah Forest Rangers Advise Everyone to Practice Black Bear Safety.
Fall is that time of year where natural food become scarce and black bears, not yet in hibernation, seek out new sources of nourishment (like your picnic basket). While bear sightings are not uncommon in the mountains, there have been an increase in bear encounters over the past couple of weeks that have rangers in the Pisgah National Forest encouraging everyone to practice bear safety.
So where are the bears? Here's the full report issued by Pisgah Rangers:
PISGAH FOREST, N.C. – The U.S. Forest Service is encouraging campers and visitors to the national forests in North Carolina to practice black bear safety while visiting the forest. The warning comes on the heels of six bear encounters on the Pisgah Ranger District, Pisgah National Forest over the past two weeks.
The incidents occurred in the Graveyard Fields, Black Balsam, and Shining Rock Wilderness areas just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. In these cases the bears took food from camp sites. While no injuries were reported, visitor’s tents and packs were damaged.
While black bear attacks on people are rare, such attacks have sometimes resulted in human fatalities.
Visitors are strongly encouraged to prevent bear interactions by practicing the following safety tips:
Do not store food in tents.
Properly store food by hanging it in a tree or in hard-sided secure container.
Clean up food or garbage around fire rings, grills or other areas of your campsite.