A campground in North Carolina has been forced to close for two weeks after a black bear tore the siding off a camper. The incident took place Gorges State Campground in Transylvania County on Wednesday.
North Carolina Parks and Recreation (NCPR) handled the situation quickly and calmly. "Visitors and the bear are fine, and park staff are working on implementing bear aversion tactics," officials explained in a Facebook post, which includes a photo showing the extent of the damage.
Sometimes bears involved in similar incidents are relocated or even euthanized, but this animal was clearly deemed not to be a danger to the public.
It's not clear why the bear attacked the camper, but it may have been searching for food. During fall, bears enter a phase of hyperphagia, during which they aim to eat as much as possible to lay on enough fat to survive hibernation. As BearSmart explains, they can spend up to 20 hours a day foraging and feeding, meaning it's especially important to avoid leaving attractants where they can be smelled.
The campground is now working on implementing "bear aversion tactics" to help prevent this happening again. In the meantime, anyone with a reservation before November 16 can request a full refund.
"But seriously folks, stay safe out there!" wrote NCPR. "DO NOT APPROACH A BEAR AND/OR TRY TO GIVE IT FOOD! If you encounter a bear, back away slowly and quietly in the opposite direction."
For more advice, take a look at our guides what to do if you meet a bear and wildlife safety: eight tips for unexpected encounters.
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