Lions and Tigers and Bears!! Oh, My! Part 3

Posted by on Apr 25, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

One thing is for sure, when you enter the woods in East Tennessee during the warm summer months, you should expect to be sharing the space with black bears. They are there even if you don’t happen to see them. It’s very important that you know how to handle a bear encounter. You need to know the proper ways to ensure that both you and the bear remain safe and not harmed. It is well known that East Tennessee has the biggest population of black bears, so you are more than likely going to see at least one, even if from a distance.

 

What should you do or not do if you have a bear encounter? The very first thing you must remember is that when/if you encounter a bear in the woods, you are in the presence of a very powerful and wild animal. If you see a bear, remain watchful and do NOT approach it or allow it to approach you. If, when a bear sees you and it stops what it’s doing, you are too close. You need to slowly back away from it. Do NOT run from a bear, they are faster than you could ever hope to be. Should the bear begin to follow you, change direction. If it continues to follow you, stand your ground, make a lot of noise, wave your arms, try to look bigger than you are, shout at it, throw non-food items at it. If you are with a group, have all of them make lots of noise and do what you can to look bigger, move to higher ground but, do NOT run from the bear or throw food at it. Find a strong stick or take a walking stick with you, just in case you need to try to deter the bear. Should you feel the bear is after your food and it attacks, get away from the food and back away slowly. Now, if the bear isn’t interested in your food, it probably considers you prey. In this case, you need to NOT play dead, you need to fight back as aggressively as you can with any object you can get your hands on – a rock, a stick, whatever. Should you encounter an aggressive bear, please report it to the park rangers. The main thing you need to remember is keep your distance from the bears. They don’t appreciate your friendly gestures at all!! They are powerful wild animals that can kill you. They are NOT cute cuddly teddy bears.

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