If you have been to Gatlinburg, TN, you have more than likely had a black bear encounter. Either you have probably seen one from your car, or while you were hiking or walking around. Even here in the Tristate, it seems like we are seeing more black bears.

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The Last Time I Was In Gatlinburg

The last time my husband and I went to Gatlinburg, a bear was right in front of our parked car as we were getting into the car to leave the resort. It scared us to death. I was actually scared and fascinated at the same time. I had never really seen a black bear that close up.

A Little Too Close For Comfort

Many people, including my family, have been staying at one of the resorts in the mountains and seen bears right outside their windows, balconies, and decks. It just happened to one of my former students, Casie. She and her husband saw three young bears, outside, having some fun on their hammock. It's so funny and cute, but also kinda scary.

Casie posted this status on Facebook.

Goldilocks …please come get your three bears!  We’ve had the best entertainment outside our cabin in Gatlinburg this week! Video cred: brother in law! 

 

A listener sent me this video from her last visit to Gatlinburg. This black bear ran her and her husband out of the jacuzzi. Then, decided it was too hot. LOL

In all seriousness, this would have scared me out of my wits. Even though they seem kinda friendly, they are still wild animals.

Are Black Bears Dangerous?

Black bears are normally very elusive and shy animals… and unless they have become accustomed to human food sources, they tend to avoid people. Bears are very curious animals, however, and this should not be mistaken for aggression. Prevent any conflicts by treating bears with respect as they are wild animals whose behaviors can be unpredictable. - tn.gov

What Should I Do If I Encounter A Bear?

The first rule is that you want to make your presence known by yelling and shouting at the bear in an attempt to scare it away. If a bear is reluctant to leave then proceed to throw rocks or other objects at the bear while continuing to yell. Portray yourself as the dominant animal and do not back down. If a bear is close enough that you feel uncomfortable, slowly back away, continuing to yell while watching the bear at all times. Never run from a black bear as this may trigger a natural response to chase. - tn.gov

So, whether you are in Gatlinburg or at him, here in the Tristate, be very careful around bears. Do not approach them and try your best to try and avoid them.

You Might Know Casie

Side note: Casie was formally Casie Mason who is a Princeton Community High School graduate who used to be a reporter on Eyewitness News. Casie moved to Nashville and is the TV Host & Country Music Red Carpet Host at NewsChannel 5 Nashville.

I'm so proud of her.

 

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