published Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Park rangers say bear sightings could increase

KNOXVILLE — National Park Service rangers say bear sightings could increase this year in East Tennessee and southeast Kentucky.

WBIR-TV reports that rangers at Cumberland Gap National Park believe more bears might wander into residential areas to look for food.

During the fall, bears will stock up on acorns and nuts to build up fat reserves before hibernation. But the acorn crop across the eastern seaboard was low, and they were left with less food to eat.

Now the bears are waking up hungry.

Rangers say that in the next few weeks, residents should expect to see more bears in neighborhoods.

The park has put together a media campaign to teach locals about what they can do to keep bears out of their neighborhoods.

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