On July 10, 2014
Earlier in the week, two women were approached by a bear on the Noah Bud Ogle Cabin Nature Trail. Despite efforts to slowly back away from the bear and attempts to scare it away with rocks, sticks and loud noises the bear continued to follow the women almost half a mile back to their vehicle on Cherokee Orchard Road.
Incidents like this are rare but are taken very seriously by the National Park Service. The trails and cabin are now back open to the public but warning signs have been posted to alert visitors of possible bear activity.
NPS officials say that bears in the Smokies are more likely to be stressed this year due to a lower food supply last fall and winter.
Most bears will avoid being close to humans. Remember, bears are wild just like the other animals that inhabit the Smokies. Never approach a bear and never feed or encourage one to approach you! Approaching within 150 feet, or any distance that disturbs a bear is illegal.
If you do encounter a bear while in the Smokies, keep your distance. If the bear approaches you or begins aggressive behavior, back away slowly. If the behavior continues, make loud noises or throw objects at the bear. Again, these occurrences are extremely rare but it’s best to be cautious and prepared!