Cades Cove
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

the Bears
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What To Do
if you meet
a Black Bear

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There are no definite rules about what to do if you meet a bear. In almost all cases, the bear will detect you first and will leave the
area. Bear attacks are rare compared to the number of close encounters. However, if you do meet a bear before it has had time
to leave an area, here are some suggestions. Remember: Every situation is different with respect to the bear, the terrain, the
people and their activity.

STAY CALM. If you see a bear and it hasn't seen you, calmly leave the area. As you move away, talk aloud to let the bear
discover your presence.
STOP. Back away slowly while facing the bear. Avoid direct eye contact as bears may perceive this as a threat. Give the
bear plenty of room to escape. Wild bears rarely attack people unless they feel threatened or provoked.
If on a trail, step off the trail on the downhill side and slowly leave the area. Don't run or make any sudden movements.
Running is likely to prompt the bear to give chase and you can't outrun a bear.
SPEAK SOFTLY. This may reassure the bear that no harm is meant to it. Try not to show fear.
Coming between a female and her cubs can be dangerous. If a cub is nearby, try to move away from it. Be alert--other cubs
may be in the area
Bears use all their senses to try to identify what you are. Remember: Their eyesight is good and their sense of smell is
acute. If a bear stands upright or moves closer, it may be trying to detect smells in the air. This isn't a sign of aggression.
Once it identifies you, it may leave the area or try to intimidate you by charging to within a few feet before it withdraws.
FIGHT BACK if a black bear attacks you. Black bears have been driven away when people have fought back with rocks,
sticks, binoculars and even their bare hands.

Call Steve Speer at: 865-233-0508