Bear Caught in Tree


Knoxville (WVLT) - A brave dog and a scared black bear in an east Tennessee back yard.

The Seymour man says the bear is still up in his tree Saturday night, going on eight hours now, and it was quite the adventure getting there you'll see only on WVLT.

It wasn't exactly a typical Saturday morning for Bill Hays.

"My dog was barking real loud and I went up there and I saw a bear about half way up in the tree," says Bill Hays.

The bear didn't quite make it all the way up his first tree.

"The bear went down the tree and he took off after it and went up another tree," says Hays.

Or the second one.

"The dog kept barking."

But third times a charm.

Hays says, "Boy did it get up that tree in a hurry."

Hays' German Sheperd mix, Graham chased the black bear all the way up this tree in his backyard, also known as Bays Mountain.

"He's fairly old, but he'll chase a bear."

Even with a bad case of arthritis, Hays says he was more worried about his nine year old buddy getting hurt than himself.

"I got pretty scared cause they say one swipe and this big german sheperd mix, they'll wipe 'em out," says Hays.

But Graham stood his ground and kept the black bear in the air.

We even caught the guy dozing off up there at times.

"It separates them from any kind of threat, so a dog can't get to them in a tree."

TWRA officer Joe Durnin was called in to help.

"Just as easy as he roamed in here, he's going to roam back out," says TWRA officer Joe Durnin.

Hays lives about 50 miles from the Smokey's, and Durnin says the bear should find his way back home safely because the area is so isolated.

"He's got any number of ways he can go without any problem, any threat," says officer Joe Durnin.

That's if he ever comes down.

"Being a warm day, I can see why he'd stay on top of a ridge, just because it's a little bit breezier, cooler," says officer Joe Durnin.

But Hays says he has no fear with his best friend looking out for him.

Hays says, "He's brave."

As to why the bear wandered into Mr. Hays backyard, TWRA says he was most likely in search of food, but hays says he has nothing to offer but a forest full of acorns.

TWRA says if the bear is still in his tree on Sunday, they'll probably have to come by with a tranquilizer gun and take him back to the Smokies.


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