The U.S. Forest Service Nantahala Ranger District has notified Friends of Panthertown that campers have recently reported more black bear encounters in Panthertown Valley . The bears are looking for easy meals and have been known to cause damage to backpacks and tents in their search for food. No injuries have been reported.
The U.S. Forest Service recommends using bear proof or water proof bags to keep the smell down and hanging the bags at least 150 feet from the camping area or the cooking area. It is also very important to keep your camp clean and not have any food inside tents or left in the campsite.
Help prevent bear encounters by practicing the following safety tips:
* Do not store food in tents.
* Properly store food by hanging it in a tree or in another secure container.
* Clean up food or garbage around fire rings, grills or other areas of your campsite.
* Do not leave food unattended.
They also suggest campers take special precautions due to the recent bear activity by securely placing food and garbage in scent proof metal bear cans or boxes.
Related: Bear Alert in Panthertown Valley (published October 29, 2012)
Related: Practice Bear Safety (published May 23, 2012)