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Black Bears in Gatlinburg Have a Pool Party

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Black bears have to find a way to beat the heat too! Recently, a family of black bears in Gatlinburg crashed a pool party. The guests didn’t seem to mind, as one caught a video of these playful bears splashing around. Check out the video here:

A total of 7 black bears in Gatlinburg decided to treat themselves to the outdoor pool area on March 25, 2021. While some of the bears were more interested in the basketball and tennis area, two young, lively bears were seen splashing in the pool and wrestling one another! While they may have broken the rule about horsing around by the pool, they managed to make the most of their time soaking up the sunshine and cooling off in the shallow end.

Black Bear Facts

There are more than 1,500 black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with a population density of 2 bears every square mile. While these bears are smaller than the American grizzly bear, they can still grow to be around 6 feet long and 250 pounds. However, there has been documentation of black bears weighing upwards of 600 pounds in the Smokies! They typically live around 12 to 15 years and live off an omnivore diet of meat, berries, and nuts. Despite their name, black bears aren’t always black in color. In some parts of the country, they can be brown or cinnamon in color.

Where to Find Black Bears in the Smokies

bearBlack bears can be found almost anywhere in the Smokies. However, there are a few select places that bears are known to be seen most frequently. The most popular of these sites is Cades Cove. With open valleys and tons of wooden area, Cades Cove is the perfect place for black bears to roam. If you’re lucky, you may even get to see a mama bear and her cubs. The best part about Cades Cove is that you can observe these creatures from the safety of your car. Since it is so important to give these animals space and respect their environment, driving the 11-mole loop at Cades Cove is your safest and best bet to get a closer look at black bears in the Smokies.

Safety Tips

If you go looking for black bears in Gatlinburg, there are a few safety tips you should know. These bears may look cute and cuddly but don’t let their appearances deceive you. Black bears are unpredictable and while attacks of humans are rare, they have happened. If you encounter a black bear do not try to run, as they can reach speeds of 30 miles per hour. It is also not recommended to play dead. Instead, walk slowly sideways, maintaining a view of the bear at all times. Most of the time, the bears will not engage with you, but if they do come at you, fight back with whatever objects you have available at the time.

Want to know more about the Smokies and the black bears that live within them? Check out our Great Smoky Mountains National Park page and learn all about the wildlife of the park.