Whenever you’re out in the Great Smoky Mountains, you gotta have your head on a swivel. Two black bears broke into a fight in Gatlinburg recently. They proved that no matter what campsite you are at, no matter what trail you are on, the wildlife of the mountains will find you. Now, black bears are usually smaller, and not as aggressive as other bears. These two are proving those general truths to be a little incorrect.
Imagine you’re enjoying your time at the campsite, and then, out of nowhere a full-on fight. Except, it isn’t two men disagreeing about how to make the best s’more, it’s two black bears. Gatlinburg and the area around it are home to all kinds of critters and bears are near the top of that list.
Encountering a bear in the wild can be a scary and intimidating thing. My high school cross country team and I learned that in 2014 while running on the trails of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For BJ and Micah Campbell, it was a chance to capture something very unique.
The video is astonishing and shows the two bears really going at one another. It appears that one was clearly outmatched in this situation. While the two beasts were battling, it wasn’t a fight to the death. Perhaps a territorial dispute. Whatever it was, those campers got a front-row seat to something that few people get to see in person.
Black bears are in general more docile than brown bears. However, they are still large beasts that can mess things up quickly. In case you don’t know how to tell the difference between the two types of bears and need a lesson, Outsider’s Jon D.B. has you covered with this guide here.
Black Bears in Gatlinburg Might Benefit from New Program
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is starting a new program. The “Park It Forward” program is designed to raise funds for wildlife in the park and surrounding areas. That includes 1,900 bears. It’s a new way for visitors to pay for parking. The program comes at a variety of rates depending on how long you’re staying. Longer stays are discounted. $5 per day and it works all the way up to a $40 annual plan.
“The Park it Forward initiative will allow the wildlife program in the Smokies to grow so they can have sufficient staff and resources to look after the wildlife, and make sure these populations are protected,” Jeff Hunter, Senior Program Manager with NPCA explained.
Whatever can help the park service better protect the bears and wildlife of the Smokies is going to get approval from this Outsider. Within reason, that is. The program will hopefully get some resources directed where they need to go. A better product at the park that allows more visitors to enjoy the beauty and wonder it contains is good for everyone. Help these black bears out so Gatlinburg has more great videos like this.