KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — In this week’s latest edition of Smoky Mountain Minute, Matt Auberle, the General Manager of Smoky Mountains PINK Jeep Tours in Pigeon Forge and current facilitator of the Smokies BearWise task force, spoke about what people need to know ahead of bears coming out of hibernation just in time for spring break.

Auberle explains the BearWise task force is a collaborative effort among businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies looking to minimize human–bear conflicts in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding communities.

Auberle also reviewed the six at-home BearWise basics, they are listed below:

  • Never feed or approach bears
  • Secure food, garbage, and recycling
  • Remove bird feeders when bears are active
  • Never leave pet food outdoors
  • Clean and store grills
  • Alert neighbors to bear activity

To learn more, those interested can head to the BearWise website and social media pages.