Bear On The Prowl At Lookout Mountain, Tn.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A bear is on the prowl at the upscale, densely-populated town of Lookout Mountain, Tn.

Mark Caldwell said he spotted it in his yard on Sunday, and it was seen again on Monday morning.

He said in an email notice to town residents:

"Yes, our community has been visited by a young Black Bear, probably in the 70-100lb range. Yes, it was seen in a few yards, including our back yard on Laurel Lane at dusk Sunday. It bedded down near West Sunset, and was up again this morning foraging through the neighborhood for food. 

"For the record, there are plenty of bear sightings on the south end of our mountain, but my father told me that in his 91 years here, a bear has not been spotted on the north end of the mountain -- primarily because they are averse to the population density, and the natural topography of east and west brow cliffs impedes easy transit. 

"However, bears do like food, so to help this one leave the neighborhood, I spoke with our own Mtn Vet Chris Keller, who has a LOT of experience with bears, for some advice. 

"Chris notes that this is the time of year that young bears are weaned, and those youngsters are out trying to establish their range. His advice is to leave this critter alone, and it will likely be out of the neighborhood soon. Bears do not like all the human activity, but this one may take a day or two to find its way back off the hill. 

"To help it along its way to less populate pastures, please do a few things until the sightings have ceased. 

"Don't leave exposed garbage with food waste outside in anything but a sturdy can, until the morning of garbage pickup. Don't leave cat or dog food out, or an abundance of bird seed or other easy food sources. 

"If you see our visiting bear, please do NOT interact with it in any way. Notify the police so we have a record that sighting are still occurring. If folks interact with the bear and it becomes aggressive, a wildlife resources officer may have to kill the animal -- and most of us would like to avoid that!

"If You Encounter a Bear:

"1. Running may elicit a chase response. Bears can run faster than 30 mph. You cannot outrun them. If the bear is unaware of you, detour quickly and quietly away. Give the bear plenty of room, allowing it to continue its activities undisturbed. Back away slowly if the bear is aware of you. Speak in a low, calm voice while waving your arms slowly above your head. Bears that stand up on their hind legs are not threatening you, but merely trying to identify you.

"2. Should a bear approach or charge you, do not run, do not drop to your pack. Bears sometimes charge, coming within ten feet of a person before stopping or veering off. Dropping a pack may encourage the bear to approach people for food. STAND STILL until the bear moves away, then slowly back off. If a black bear makes contact with you, fight back."

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