Forest Service: Bears stealing backpacks, food in NC trails

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A black bear is seen in the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GettyImages)

ROBBINSVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service says it has received increased reports of bears stealing backpacks and food in a North Carolina national forest.

The agency is warning hikers and campers to take precautions when visiting the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness inside the Nantahala National Forest.

This warning came days after “aggressive bear activity” led the forest service to close an area of the Appalachian Trail to camping in Tennessee.

The agency advises people not to leave food unattended and to store it in bear-proof containers.

No injuries have been reported but the forest service says people should try to fight back with any available object if attacked.

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