Bears Close Great Smoky Campgrounds

Increased bear activity worries officials

Caty Enders

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have posted warnings around the park and closed two campgrounds due to increased bear activity. A spokesperson said that bears in several areas across the park had become dangerously bold in interactions with humans, coming close to visitors and scavenging for food. “I think we’re still seeing the effects of poor natural food sources—a poor acorn crop and poor berry crop,” said Mike Carraway, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission bear biologist. “But we have problems with people feeding bears on purpose.” The country’s most-visited National Park is home to a growing population of 1,500 bears.

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