JACKSON COUNTY, North Carolina (WTVD) --Spring is here and black bears are out and active in the western North Carolina mountains. Rangers have put out a warning in the Panthertown trail area of the Nantahala National Forest in Jackson County after bears have stolen food from campers and hikers.
WLOS-TV in Asheville reports that no one has been hurt, but a camper's tent was shredded by a bear looking for food.
Because of frequent sightings, the U.S. Forest Service is recommending no camping in Panthertown until June 1.
Experts say you should never store food in tents. It's a good idea to store food or scented items like toothpaste in a bear-proof container or hang it from a rope in a tree out of reach.
Also clean up food and garbage around fire rings and campsites and never leave food unattended.
Never run away from a bear. It's better to back away slowly and make lots of noise.
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