Search for bears that pose a safety threat to campers near the Great Smoky Mountains has begun

The federal campground north of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is closed indefinitely as authorities are looking for bears. Considered a safety threat..

According to the US Forest Office, black bears live long among campers at the Paint Creek campsite in the Cherokee National Forest. The campsite is near the border between Tennessee and North Carolina, and the closest town is Greenville, Tennessee.

No bears have attacked, according to investigators, but they remain in and around the campsite for weeks.

Euthanasia of bears is not excluded, says the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

“Based on reported bear behavior, it is certainly conditioned on campsite food and loses people’s fear,” the TWRA black bear program leader said in a news release.

“Efforts to catch bears are a good course of action. This reduces the chances of their actions escalating and can injure people using the campsite.”

Safety concerns about bears have increased in the region after a 16-year-old girl sleeping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was attacked. The girl survived, but was hospitalized with a laceration in her head, officials said. The bear that caused the attack was killed by a ranger on the scene, officials said.

Asiatic black bears can reach up to 600 pounds and have “strong claws and teeth”. According to federal authorities..

“Wild black bears are opportunistic infections and eat whatever is readily available,” the US Forest Office said in a release.

“Food odors and improperly stored debris attract bears to campsites and picnic areas, even when humans are nearby. Bears are naturally afraid of humans, but are accustomed to human food. Bears can begin to associate human scents with food rewards, which can pose a threat to humans, property, and themselves. “

Posted on