Bear That Rambled Around Chattanooga On Saturday Had Moved From Polk County To Bledsoe To Here

Monday, September 28, 2020

TWRA officials said a black bear that rambled around Chattanooga on Saturday before being put down by wildlife officers had gone on a long journey before arriving here.

Officials said the adult bear was initially in Sevier County, but it was moved to Polk County because it had become habituated to human food.

Mime Barnes, TWRA spokesperson, said the bar was tagged on the ear at the time of being moved.

She said it was later spotted in Bledsoe County.

Then earlier Saturday it was seen near Lookout Valley Elementary School. Afterward the bear was observed swimming the Tennessee River and heading for the metropolis of Chattanooga.

It roamed around the UTC campus and ambled behind the Federal Building on Georgia Avenue.

A line of police vehicles with their lights flashing began slowly following it.

Ms. Barnes said TWRA officials were on the scene within 17 minutes of being notified. She said those responding included the Chattanooga agent as well as several officers from nearby counties.

She said it was necessary to shoot the bear "because it definitely proved a human threat, and human safety is our top priority."

Ms. Barnes said the incident is a lesson that people should never feed bears or approach or follow them.

She said most bears are fed by nature, including acorns, nuts and insects. But she said this bear was used to eating human food and ranged so much because of a quest to find that diet.

She said, "The outcome is certainly not the one we would have wanted. It stresses the fact that feeding a bear always leads to its detriment."


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