When City Folks Explain Bear Safety

Living in close proximity to Great Smoky Mountains National Park we see a few things in abundance: stunning scenery, wildlife like black bears, and tourists who have very little experience in the outdoors. We’ll often chuckle about some of the pre-conceived ideas some people have about wildlife and wilderness, but try to educate people whenever possible. The old adage that “It’s more afraid of you than you are of it,” usually holds up with everything from rattlesnakes to bears, but common sense is imperative.

A black bear returns to the berry patch near our house

A black bear returns to the berry patch near our house

We’ve had a number of “neighborhood” bears over the years and never had any problems. We keep our trash in the garage and make sure are children are educated about what to do if they see a bear outside. Pretty basic stuff really. Stay calm, never approach the bear, don’t run away, and come back inside.

Here’s a news clip from a Rhode Island news station after a local man had a surprising but innocent bear encounter. The reporter offers up advice on how to handle the situation. We haven’t heard from Bear Grylls about his advice but according to this reporter shifty eyes, a primal scream, and throwing shoes can save your life. Not sure about a bear, but we’re sure we’d leave her alone too.

All we can say is “City people…..”