ACADIA NAT’L PARK — Managers here issued a notice to visitors Tuesday that a black bear has been spotted in the vicinity of the Blackwoods Campground in Otter Creek.
While black bears are seldom a threat to humans, rangers are urging visitors to take sensible precautions.
Bears, like moose, are seldom seen on Mount Desert Island, although biologists believe there are small local populations.
First and foremost is for campers not to leave food out in the open or in readily accessible containers. Trash, especially food waste, should only be disposed of in proper receptacles.
Other advice from rangers includes walking or hiking with another person, making noise while on trails so bears are aware of your presence and reporting any sightings to park authorities.
Do not approach any bears, state wildlife officials said, and back away quietly if you see one.
Adhering to “leave no trace” principles helps protect the environment and minimizes adverse interactions with wildlife. “Pack out what you packed; trash can attract bears and teach them to return to that location for food,” said a statement from park officials.
Maine is home to the largest population of black bears – 30,000 – in the lower 48 states, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
In the last 30 years in Maine, only a handful people have been injured by bears. Most involved bears wounded by, and later approached by, hunters. There is no record of anyone ever being killed by a black bear in Maine.