A black bear is foraging for mast in the Cherokee Orchard region of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Black Bears are the most popular denizens in the park and a keepsake photo is a tantalizing enticement for many visitors. But it is important to remember that bears are swift wild animals and can be dangerous if they are ill or provoked. Always keep a safe distance from all wildlife! See, enjoy, but please do not approach for your safety and the welfare of the animals.
A black bear cub forages in Cades Cove Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Black bears are excellent climbers and many park visitors miss seeing bears because they don’t look up. It is not uncommon to see smaller cubs in the highest branches of an oak or walnut tree shaking down nuts for easier eating!
A black bear climbing a tree in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Many park visitors miss bears because they only look at ground level and do not look up into the treetops.
Bears climb trees for protection and to feed on nuts and fruit. This is especially true in Autumn as the bears fatten up for their long winter naps.
Always keep in mind that black bears are wild animals that can easily outrun an adult human. Never approach a bear in the wild, never provoke a bear in the wild and never ever ever feed a bear in the wild. Feeding bears alters their natural proclivities and could lead to behavior that endangers bear and people alike.
How to Find Black Bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
When visitors are asked why they come to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park there are many common answers.
They come for the incomparable mountain views, the over eight hundred miles of hiking trails, the historic structures, the crystal clear streams, rivers and waterfalls and of course the wildlife…
Especially black bears!
Unfortunately many would-be bear spotters have unrealistic expectations when it come to seeing bears in the Smoky Mountains. Although current populations are at historically high numbers, black bears are reclusive and tend to avoid contact with humans. So the odds of actually seeing a bear during a casual visit are not very good. Continue reading →
I was reading some reviews about black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and was surprised to learn that many people come to the Park EXPECTING to see a bear. In many cases these reviewers were disappointed.
It occurred to me that there may be an information gap regarding the somewhat large bear population in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the actual likelihood that a park visitor will actually see a black bear. Continue reading →