There’s a reason you see bears on just about everything in Gatlinburg. These Smoky Mountain dwellers are so much a part of the landscape Zeno the Gatlinburg Bear is actually the city’s mascot.
When you visit White Oak Lodge and Resort, you’re bound to see at least a couple bears (even if they’re wooden statues). But how much do you actually know about these fascinating creatures?
Thanks to the Gatlinburg Department of Tourism, you can learn a lot in a fun way. Here are some of their best “Bear Facts”.
Bears Can Outrun Humans
You can’t outrun a bear so don’t even try. Despite rumors to the contrary, black and grizzly bears can outrun a human on any terrain, uphill or down.
Do Not Try to Touch a Bear. Ever.
You Should Never Leave Food Unattended around Black Bears
Food and garbage must be properly watched and disposed of because bears will be very attracted to your leftovers. A lot of snack foods and garbage is bad for bears and can even kill them, so store and dispose of your food or waste accordingly.
Black Bears Can Burn More Than 6,000 Calories Per Day
During hibernation, bears lose 25-40% of their body weight as they burn their fat for fuel.
A Black Bear Can Eat More Than 30 Pounds of Food a Day
Fall is when black bears really get down to some serious eating to prepare for hibernation. When nuts and seeds are plentiful at the end of summer, bears go crazy for them. They love berries, too.
Springtime is Mating Season for Black Bears
Bears are cute, and furry and kind of awesome. However, when hiking or exploring Gatlinburg’s natural surroundings, always use caution when you encounter wildlife, no matter what.
COMMENT: Have you seen bears up close during your Gatlinburg travels? Tell us about it in the comments below.