What to (and not to) do when you see a bear

Here at Cabins In The Clouds, we take our guests’ safety very seriously. Although bear sightings are very rare, we send this warning to all of our guests with the directions and key code.

My wife sings when she goes into her car at night “just in case” lol. Bears have very good hearing and usually avoid people. The biggest thing is to not leave food and trash out because this will attract bears.

5 tips for bear safety

Black bears in the park are wild and their behavior is sometimes unpredictable. Although extremely rare, attacks on humans have occurred, inflicting serious injuries and death. Treat bear encounters with extreme caution and follow these guidelines: 

  • If you see a bear, remain watchful. Do not approach it. If your presence causes the bear to change its behavior (stops feeding, changes its travel direction, watches you, etc.), YOU ARE TOO CLOSE. Being too close may promote aggressive behavior from the bear such as running toward you, making loud noises, or swatting the ground. The bear is demanding more space. Don’t run, but slowly back away, watching the bear. Try to increase the distance between you and the bear. The bear will probably do the same. 
  • If a bear persistently follows or approaches you without vocalizing or paw swatting, try changing your direction. If the bear continues to follow you, stand your ground. If the bear gets closer, talk loudly or shout at it. Act aggressively and try to intimidate the bear. Act together as a group if you have companions. Make yourselves look as large as possible (for example, move to higher ground). Throw non-food objects, such as rocks, at the bear. Use a deterrent such as a stout stick. Don’t run and don’t turn away from the bear. Don’t leave food for the bear; this encourages further problems. 
  • Most injuries from black bear attacks are minor and result from a bear attempting to get at people’s food. If the bear’s behavior indicates that it is after your food and you’re physically attacked, separate yourself from the food and slowly back away. 
  • If the bear shows no interest in your food and you’re physically attacked, fight back aggressively with any available object – the bear might consider you prey!
  • Be aware that there are bears in the neighborhood and around our cabin. They are so exciting to see, but please do so from a safe distance and NEVER feed them! FED BEAR = DEAD BEAR. The bear returns for more food, becomes a nuisance, and has to be euthanized. It’s very sad.
  • Help protect others. Report all bear incidents to a park ranger immediately. Above all, keep your distance from bears! Approaching any wild animal may disturb it. Wildlife harassment is punishable by fines of up to $5,000 and /or imprisonment of up to six months. To report a bear incident, call (865) 436-1230.

Be aware that there are bears in the neighborhood and around our cabin. They are so exciting to see, but please do so from a safe distance and NEVER feed them! FED BEAR = DEAD BEAR. The bear returns for more food, becomes a nuisance, and has to be euthanized. It’s very sad.

*Source: National Park Service Pamphlet

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