Sunday I received a text from my friend, Steph, about a bear being found on the University of Tennessee campus. It was shot with a tranquilizer and, from what I just learned, relocated to a much more suitable environment: the Cherokee National Forest.
Although I have seen bears in the wild, never up close and personal which I cannot complain about that. Probably the closest I came was when I was riding the lift up to Ober Gatlinburg a couple months ago and we looked down and saw a couple black bears just moseying around on the mountain side. My mom, however, when she was backpacking came across a bear on the trail. They both stared at the other before going their separate ways.
Since camping season is upon us, remember to keep all food inside your vehicle when you are not eating. Bears have a keen sense of smell and unattended food can attract bears and other animals. The first time my mom went camping, she did not know to keep the food in the car. In the middle of the night, a family of raccoons attempted to get inside the tent. Dad spent the next day sewing up the claw marks. Years later, we were camping and the girls were sitting around the campfire and the boys went to get catch crawdads. We were just sitting around when my cousin, Shannon, and I heard something. Turns out we left marshmallows and a few raccoons decided to have a snack.
So before adventuring out into the woods, know what to do if you happen to spot a bear. As well as keeping away animals that may venture a little too closely. As my mom always says: safety first.