I’m not going to lie, each time I hike or I do something in nature there’s a part of me that secretly wants to encounter a bear. Maybe not come face to face with it but at least watch it from a distance. They just seem so cute and fluffy. Obviously I know that’s not always the case, and they’re actually really dangerous creatures if you get too close to them in their nature habitat. That’s why wildlife officials are warning hikers of increased bear sightings in North Carolina forests.
If you go to the mountains, you’ll see increased security measures around dumpsters and trash cans because bears are known to rummage for food leftovers, but recently WSOC has reported that bears are doing that but from backpacks!
During the first week of June, the U.S. Forest Service said it has received reports of “increased bear encounters” on 4 Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness trails within the Nantahala National Forest: Haoe Lead Trail, Stratton Bald Trail, Hangover Lead Trail and Hangover Trail.
Even though reports are coming in of increased bear encounters, there have been no reported injuries. If you are a hiker and you experience a bear encounter, the Forest Service wants you to know that “playing dead” is not an option. They encourage you to fight back with anything you have available and by acting aggressively and intimidating the bear by yelling and waving your arms.