MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) Students got quite the surprise at Maryville College when a black bear walked up to the front door of one of the dorms.
Student and Resident Assistant, Amber Roberts, was sitting in the lounge when she saw the bear walk up to the door and look inside. She said her first thought was to make sure no one walked up to the door and get hurt. Her second thought? Get a picture.
"I really, really wanted a picture. And so we were trying to do that. And once it started bumping its head against the door, we thought that was maybe a little too aggressive for us to be that close to it. So then we moved away, Roberts said.
Another student, Rachel Jarnagin, walked into the dorm only a few minutes before the bear showed up at the same door she entered.
Assistant Professor of Biology at Maryville College, Dr. David Unger said people typically don't have to be afraid of bears. It's more about having a relationship of respect and admiration for the animal.
"I think it's pretty exciting that Maryville College sits in a place that's this wild enough, to have an animal like this come so close," Unger said.
Unger said the bear was most likely an adolescent male who was looking for new territory to call home.
Meanwhile, students have been talking excitedly for the past few days about seeing the bear and getting pictures and video of it. Some have taken to social media to joke that the bear was kicked out of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park when the government shutdown.