Forest Service: Bears stealing backpacks, food in NC trails

Black bear in Eastern North Carolina.
Black bear in Eastern North Carolina.(Tom Harrison)
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 9:13 AM EDT
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ROBBINSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) - The U.S. Forest Service says it has received increased reports of bears stealing backpacks and food in a North Carolina national forest.

The agency is warning hikers and campers to take precautions when visiting the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness inside the Nantahala National Forest.

#BearActivityAlert Visitors to the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness on the Nantahala National Forest are asked to take...

Posted by U.S. Forest Service - National Forests in North Carolina on Friday, June 4, 2021

This warning came days after “aggressive bear activity” led the forest service to close an area of the Appalachian Trail to camping in Tennessee.

The agency advises people not to leave food unattended and to store it in bear-proof containers. No injuries have been reported but the forest service says people should try to fight back with any available object if attacked.

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