horses in Cades Cove

Fun Facts About the Cades Cove Wildlife You’re Likely to See on a Visit

cades cove yearling bear
December 26, 2017

Cades Cove is part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s full of Appalachian history, beautiful and serene sites, and lots of native wildlife. When you visit you are likely to see everything from cardinals, turkeys, and deer, to black bears. We’ve decided to share some cool facts about some of our most famous and precious Cades Cove wildlife.

American Black Bears:

  • They have a favorite snack! It’s acorns.
  • Black bears can run up to 40-50kph.
  • They have short but sharp claws, and this makes them excellent tree climbers.
  • Black Bears in East Tennessee do not actually hibernate for several months. It doesn’t get cold enough. Instead, they may sleep for a few days when the temperature drops and come out to explore and eat when it heats up a little.

White-tailed Deer:

cades cove buck

  • Did you know that the male white-tailed deer loses its antlers every year during mid-winter? They grow back again every year even larger than before.
  • A newborn fawn (baby deer) can stand just 20 minutes after being born, and run after a day.
  • The white-tailed deer has 32 teeth just like a human.
  • Deer like to snack, they eat at least five times a day!

Eastern Grey Squirrel:

  • They’re tail twitching is a form of communication for them.
  • Grey squirrels have excellent peripheral vision which helps them survive.
  • These little guys can learn to purr like a cat.

Wild Turkey:

  • Male turkeys are called toms, females are called hens, and adolescent turkeys are called jakes.
  • A group of turkeys can be referred to as a “crop,” “dole,” “gang,” “posse,” and or “raffle.”
  • A wild turkey’s head can change color in seconds depending on its emotion! The colors can vary from red, pink-ish, to white or blue!
  • Turkey’s are most often seen wandering on the ground, but they actually prefer and often sleep in tree tops to remain safe.


chipmunk with cheeks full

  • A chipmunk’s cheeks can stretch up 3 sizes their normal head size.
  • They have pouches inside their cheeks for storing food.
  • Chipmunks are actually omnivores!
  • Male chipmunks are called bucks, and female chipmunks are referred to as does.

Remember it’s perfectly okay to get tons of pictures of the cute and amazing Cades Cove wildlife. However, please keep in mind these are wild animals and you should be cautious about trying to approach them. Now that you know a few fun facts about some of the animals you might find in Cades Cove you can impress your family and friends with your knowledge! You can also learn more about Cades Cove by browsing through our other articles!

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