ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Editor's note: Video featured is a bear sighting in Stokesdale County.
Visitors to national forests in western North Carolina are being warned that bears are getting close to humans and even circling campsites.
The Charlotte Observer reports the U.S. Forest Service issued the warning for Pisgah and Nantahala national forests. The service says visitors have reported bears tearing down bear bags from trees, carrying off backpacks, spending hours near campsites and ignoring efforts to scare them away.
The rise in bear encounters coincided with the Memorial Day weekend and focused on the Pisgah, Appalachian, and Nantahala Ranger Districts, the service said.
No injuries were reported.