KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A popular campground has reopened after the US Forest Service caught and euthanized an aggressive bear believed to have been on the hunt for human food and garbage.
Carden’s Bluff Campground in the Cherokee National Forest reopened June 23.
On June 16, the U.S. Forest Service received reports of aggressive bear activity at the campground near Hampton, in Carter County.
Park rangers found evidence of bears entering the campgrounds and taking food and garbage. The aggressive behavior of the bear caused the Carden’s Bluff Campground to be closed on June 12.
“This will reduce the opportunity for its behavior to escalate, which could result in injury to the public,” the Forest Service said in a statement about the closure.
A Forest Service spokesperson said Thursday that the bear has been euthanized.
The Forest Service is also warning visitors to be on the lookout for black bears and be BearWise. If bears are unable to get human food or garbage, the likelihood of human-bear conflicts is greatly reduced.
Though bears are naturally afraid of humans, bears habituated to human food can begin to associate human scents with the reward of food. Due to this, bears can become a threat to humans, property, and themselves, the Forest Service said in a post on social media.
When camping, always:
- Throw away all trash in an approved receptacle. Don’t leave anything behind and do not burn food scraps or other trash in fire rings.
- Stay alert, be aware of your surroundings, and stay together.
- Make noise so that bears can avoid you.
- Keep food and other attractants in a locked vehicle, bear-resistant container or hung from a tree at least 12 feet off the ground and 6 feet away from the truck or limbs.
- Never store food, garbage, or any other attractants in a tent.