Bears and Your Safety

Black bear in corn field

Black bear in corn field

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Black Bears

The park is home to hundreds of black bears. These bears are smaller than brown bears seen in the West, and they are generally peaceful, but they are still wild animals and can seriously maul and injure people.

If you see a cub, be aware that its mother is probably nearby. Leave the cub alone. Do not approach or annoy any bear, especially a mother or cub. Keep your pet leashed and away from bears.

palm of a bear's paw

Don't Kill a Bear

If you feed a bear, or leave food around for the bear to find, you "teach" the bear to approach people. Bears that approach people can be easily hit by cars or shot by poachers. Problem bears, ones that annoy or threaten people, must be trapped and removed from the park, or even destroyed.

People feeding bears are also a serious safety problem. If you feed a bear, you can be fined up to $5,000 and jailed for up to 6 months.

Black bear running through a field.

Bear on the run

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Don't leave food at a campsite or picnic site; store food in the trunk of a car, if possible.

Clean up all food scraps from your site; don't leave garbage around over-filled garbage cans.

Never feed a bear.

Did You Know?