Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Smokies Video Emphasizes Bear Safety

A new video podcast, Day Hiking and Wildlife, associated with the recently launched program “Reward Yourself - Hike the Smokies Challenge”, is now available for viewing. This 6-minute podcast is the second of a three-part series on hiking safety and informs the viewer of wildlife behavior, particularly black bears, and the appropriate responses and regulations to be followed by Park visitors.

The chance of seeing wildlife in the backcountry is one of the exciting things about hiking, but it's important to understand the rules and regulations and proper etiquette for a safe and rewarding experience when visiting. The video podcast is an in-depth informational piece about bear country and sets up practical advice for keeping bears wild and away from people and developed areas. Kim Delozier, the park’s chief wildlife biologist, is featured in the podcast and emphasizes the responses people should make and actions to take if encountered by a bear on a trail.

The first podcast developed for this program, Day Hiking in the Smokies: Expect the Unexpected, is a 5-minute video on weather and how to prepare and respond to potential weather extremes and the mountainous terrain.

Both podcasts, developed by Great Smoky Mountains Association, can be viewed at the Hike the Smokies Challenge webpage.

Be forwarned: the "acting" in this newest video is a little distracting from Mr. Delozier's excellent advice on what actions you should take if you were to encounter a bear on the trail.

Jeff Detailed information on trails in the Smoky Mountains; includes trail descriptions, key features, pictures, video, maps, elevation profiles, news, and more.

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