I need to stress the importance of us being aware of bears in the park. Last evening a crew of members was packing up the swim equipment when we noticed three bear cubs along the trail to the boat dock. Realizing the momma bear was not far behind we retreated to the swim dock. Momma bear, aka Fingerboard problem bear, “Cookie” arrived. She was not afraid of us and approached the dock until we blew a whistle and banged on the metal sign on the dock. She and the cubs hung around for about a half hour but eventually moved on. We moved to join those on the boat dock looking for a larger, louder crowd to walk up to the lodge. We discovered Cookie had ripped up two packs that had been left on the dock while boaters were on the lake.
We must prevent bears from thinking they can find food Anywhere at our camp. I expect Cookie and her cubs may include the docks in their daily routine now, hoping to find more snacks. Even leaving sandwich crumbs or the occasional potato chip will encourage the bears to visit our docks. Packs, that may smell like food, should be stored in the boathouse and the boathouse doors must be kept closed with the locks through the latch. Going forward please eat only at the picnic area. Packs should not be left unattended and all food should be stored in the refrigerator or cars, not in tents or the bunkhouse.
Mother bears with cubs can be aggressive if they feel their cubs are threatened. The usual recommendation to scare them away with noise or appearing large can backfire. Your best bet is to walk away slowly if you have a safe route, or, as we did, wait until they move on. If they don’t find food they will move on.
Please remember this is the bears’ home, we are just visiting.
Kathy and the Thendara Board