Bear Wanders Through West Knox Neighborhoods

Knoxville (WVLT) - TWRA officers caught a black bear in Alcoa Friday night, but received several calls this weekend about another bear on the loose in North Knox County.

Volunteer TV’s Kim Bedford spoke with neighbors in the area about the wandering bear.

It's a scary thought guys, especially for those with kids or pets.

The first call to TWRA came Saturday about a black bear on Mayes Chapel Road off Emory Road and two more calls were made yesterday about more sightings in the Florence Gardens subdivision, off Norris Freeway.

Neighbors are hoping the bear or bears leave their area soon.

"This is Lucy. She's a good girl. I'd be afraid of her getting hurt." Karen Conner is worried about a bear getting to Lucy and a lot of other four-legged friends in the Florence Gardens Subdivision. "I think it's really scary because I'm a dog walker, and just to walk a little dog like her and then walk a couple labs and another dog, I think it'd be very scary to run into a bear. I'd feel like we're a target."

TWRA says they received two calls about a black bear in the North Knox County subdivision Sunday.

"There's a lot of woods around,” thankfully Dustin Malone says when his dogs Harley and Buddy are out, they're fenced in, but there's still an uneasy feeling of encountering into a large black bear. "It can be unsafe, all the kids and especially if it's hungry."

And TWRA says the Easter weekend freeze East Tennessee experienced leaves more bears than usual wandering away from the mountains in search of food such as berries.

Neighbors on Mayes Chapel Road say they saw an adult-size bear Saturday run across here, and then escape through the back of these woods.

"It doesn't worry me too much. I know when things are bad in the mountains they come down, but that's not really a big deal. I don't think they're going to bother anything,” says Scott Mizers.

But if you see one, TWRA says they need to know.

"I hope everybody else, if there's a sighting, they call someone because I know how dangerous they can be,” Karen says.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when dealing with bears:

Don't feed bears.

Keep garbage inaccessible to bears.

Avoid bird feeders.

Keep pet food indoors.

Do not put any food in compost piles.

And keep your cooking grills clean.


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