Black Bears in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK – Want to see a grizzly? Not here. Want to see a brown bear? Sorry, we don’t have any of those either. Want to see black bears? Oh yeah, have we got’em!
Black bears are the only species of bear living in the southeastern United States, and they love the Smoky Mountains.
Today, there are thousands of black bears living in North Carolina, Tennessee, and the surrounding area. However, when the park was founded in 1934, less than one hundred black bears existed here.
Since that time, aggressive conservation efforts by the National Park Service have paid off. Now there are more than 1,600 black bears living within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. That is quite a turnaround.
Educating tourists and locals about bear behavior and human interaction is key to the survival of bear populations.
The Smoky Mountains are known for its abundant wildlife. The black bear is identified with the Smoky Mountains more than any other animal. When people think of the Smokies, they think of the beautiful black bear.
We want to ensure that black bears remain cohabitants of our park for years to come. When you visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you need to know where to go to see bears, how to respond if you see one, and how to stay safe in their presence.
We have written a series of articles all about black bears in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Please take the time to learn more about how to enjoy the bears safely.
While planning your vacation to the Smokies, you will probably book a campsite, cabin, or hotel, choose which live shows you want to see in nearby cities, and determine which zip line or riding stable has the best deals. You also need to plan what you will do if and when you encounter a bear.
Nearly everyone has heard the timeless warning, “Do not feed the bears!” You may be wondering, “What’s the big deal?” Well, it is a big deal, and we want to let you in on three big reasons you shouldn't feed the bears.
According to park rangers, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now home to 1,600 black bears and counting. That’s a lot of bears! Even so, there is no guarantee you will see one during your visit. With careful planning, however, you may be able to spot one of these amazing creatures; and from a safe distance.