The Smoky Mountain black bear can be seen everywhere in the national park. With approximately 1500 bears, there is about 2 bears per square mile. Our bears are without a doubt the highlight of East TN. Visitors love the great photo ops they may get and locals just love talking about them and sharing photos and videos
As a local for the past 2 years, it would give me great pleasure to be able to write a blog about all the great bears I have seen and all the photos; However, that is not the case. I am writing about bears in this blog because I find it most amusing that I have only previously had 2 brief sightings of bears until this past weekend. While my dear Cousins was in town for a mini vacation we took a drive into the Great Smoky Mountains national park. I asked “What would you like to do or see?” Brian’s answer to that is “I want to see some bears!” I of course go into telling him about all the bear sightings that everyone else has seen. Just a few short moments up the road, there were 2 black bears hanging out in trees trying to reach the berry vines that have grown over the summer. It was an amazing sight!
With approximately 1500 bears living in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it is the largest protected area in the eastern United States where bears can live in wild, natural surroundings. The black bear lives in all elevations of the park, but as with any wild animal they are attracted to food. The cabins we have scattered all over the mountain side are a great place for a free easy meal, between the garbage cans and cars, we have some big bears in Gatlinburg. Most recently a bear was spotted running through the cross walk in downtown Gatlinburg. It made national headlines.
On your vacation to Gatlinburg and The Great Smoky Mountains, please be aware that you are in bear country. Stay 50 yards from a bear at all times. Taking pictures of them is encouraged, and wanted but use the zoom and never feed or bait the bears. We would like for them to stay in the wild for many years to come.
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