Gatlinburg is a great town for tourists with all the history and attractions it has to offer. Locals strive to keep the town interesting to visit so that tourists continue to enjoy their town. Not only do locals enjoy when tourists come to town but the bears do too.
Bears are native to the Smoky Mountains. With so many mountain cabins in the area the bears have started to realize the advantages of tourist. They find trash cans filled with bags and rummage to find food. Since they have discovered the trash bins the bears will often frequent them where food is thrown out. Unfortunately some people will try to feed the bears or leave food out for them so they can get a better look at the animal. Since they are dangerous and are not to be fed Wildlife Management will have to relocate the bears to other areas or, even worse, the bears will have to be euthanized.
There are several things to remember about the bears. We need to keep them safe but we also need to keep future visitors and locals safe as well. Bears can be admired by afar, therefore keeping them people as safe as possible. Here are some tips to remember when you’re visiting the Gatlinburg and Smoky Mountains:
- Please throw your food away in appropriate containers. Do not leave leftovers out in the open where the bears can get to it.
- Store your food indoors. Leaving it out in the car allows the bear to pick up on the scent and it will try to get into the car to get to the food.
- Do not leave food scraps outside. Not even the littlest pieces. If a bear finds food in a certain area once the chances are high that it will revisit the area for more food. Once this happens the bear might become a threat to people.
- If a bear happens to approach your area try to scare it off by making loud noises (yelling, banging things together). Do not run as it could possibly see you as prey.
These tips will help to keep the bears safe as well as people who are in the area. It is illegal to approach or disturb a bear. These are serious regulations all should follow. Fines and possibly jail time could result in those not adhering to it. For more information about bears please visit www.gatlinburg.com or www.nps.gov/grsm/