Forest Service offers bear safety tips

Apr 20, 2014
Photo by: File photo Black bears become more prevalent in National Forests in the Spring.

ASHEVILLE — Spring has arrived, and with more people visiting the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, the U.S. Forest Service reminds visitors to practice simple steps to avoid black bear encounters.

  • Never keep food or scented items (such as shampoo) in a tent.
  • Keep a clean camp site by properly disposing of food scraps and garbage.
  • Do not leave food or garbage inside fire rings, grills or around your site.
  • Never leave food or coolers unattended, even in developed picnic areas.
  • If bear-proof containers are not available, store food and garbage inside, high in a tree that is away from camp, or in a car trunk.
  • If a bear approaches, move away slowly; do not run. Get into a vehicle or a secure building.
  • If you are attacked by a black bear, try to fight back using any object available. Playing dead is not appropriate.

Black bears can become a threat to humans, property and themselves — a pattern that normally ends with death, either for the bear or a human.

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