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Munching on muscadines

Black bears are omnivores, but at times their diet consists more of non-meat items such as berries, roots, seeds, nuts and grapes. On Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, muscadine grapes are one of the food sources for bears.

National Wildlife Refuges in North Carolina remind visitors to use manners and “basic common sense. For the safety of yourself and your family, as well as the wildlife you are viewing, ALWAYS VIEW FROM A SAFE DISTANCE! If you see a change in the behavior of the wildlife (they move away, etc.), you are TOO CLOSE!”

bears

Beverly Meekins photo, courtesy FWS

All traffic laws apply on refuge roads. Seat belts, car seats for children, etc. –whatever is required by the state on a public highway is required on the refuge. Learn more about tips for safety during bear encounters at http://bearwise.org/bear-safety-tips/bear-encounter/.

For local conditions review the information on refuge websites and/or call ahead. At this time, the Manteo Office for the Coastal NC National Wildlife Refuges Complex is staffed for emergency calls and general information. Staffers may be reached by calling 252-473-1131 Ext 224 or emailing alligator_river@fws.gov for information about all refuges in eastern North Carolina.

“If visiting one of our refuges, please ensure public health and safety by following guidance from the CDC and state and local public health authorities,” stated a press release. “You can do this by maintaining social distancing, avoiding overcrowding and exercising good hygiene.”

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