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.