CLEVELAND, Tennessee (WATE) — Another report of an aggressive bear has closed a section of the campground on the Appalachian Trail.
The U.S. Forest Service says an aggressive bear has been reported No. Business Knob Refuge. This report led to camping being closed AT from Chestoa to Spivey Gap at 19W until further notice.
U.S. Forest Service officials are urging tourists to exercise caution in the area and keep an eye out for black bears. Visitors are encouraged to become BearWise. Safety tips include:
- Avoid walking, hiking, jogging or cycling alone
- keep the dog on a leash
- Make a sound to let the bear know you’re in the area
- Carry bear spray and know how to use it properly
- If you come across a bear, don’t run.Slowly back away while making noises, don’t turn your back on the bear
- In case you are attacked or come into contact with a black bear, fight back
According to the Forest Service, a forest order is being drafted and will be issued for the safety of visitors and the protection of bears. The order will help ensure recreational areas remain open to visitors.
If any bears are found in the area, please report to the campground owner or the Unaka Ranger District Office at 423-638-4109. Visitors are also asked not to remove any bear activity signs.
On Friday, the Forest Service closed another part of the AT campground for positive bear reports. All camping is closed from the TN-VA border to the Low Gap-Hwy 421 intersection.
On October 26, Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials closed two trails due to a large gathering of black bears.