ASHEVILLE, NC (WTVD) -- News that a hiker from North Carolina was bitten on the leg through the wall of his tent along the Appalachian Trail in Tennessee last week got us thinking about being safe around bears in the NC mountains this summer.
The 49-year-old hiker told authorities he was asleep when the bear bit his leg. He was able to scare it away. Rescuers took him out of the woods on horseback and then to a local hospital.
The US Forest Service says black bears average about 300 pounds and can move fast despite their size. They can also climb trees.
Bears are naturally afraid of humans, but that will change if they start to associate people with food. Rangers say you should never try to get close to bears, feed them, or store food in a place they can get at it.
Here are some quick tips from The Forest Service:
- Never store food inside of a tent.
- Do not leave food or garbage inside fire rings, grills or around your site.
- Never leave food or coolers unattended, even in developed picnic areas.
- If bear-proof containers are not available, store food and garbage inside a hard-top vehicle or trailer.