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Nuisance Bear Incidents Reported In Smokies

Several confrontations between Smoky Mountains visitors and bears have been reported this spring.

Park officials closed Abrams Falls Trail in Cades Cove on Tuesday evening after a black bear became aggressive toward two groups of hikers.

The trail was opened again on Thursday.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that in one instance, a hiker climbed a tree to get away from the bear which bluff-charged the group.

In recent weeks, five backcountry campsites have been closed and bear warnings were posted for 16 campsites and trails.

Great Smokies National Park spokeswoman Nancy Gray said the
increased bear activity is probably because a lot of cubs were born
over the winter, due to plentiful food last summer.

There are an estimated 1,500 bears in the park.


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