Wildlife officials say expect more bears

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- After numerous bear sightings in the Knoxville area TWRA says to expect more in the future.

Nearly 1500 bears live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and many expect to see bears in Gatlinburg, but not Knoxville.

According to wildlife officials, this is the time of year when young cubs leave their moms, searching for new territory. They also say bears are expanding in population, so as humans build where the bears live, we should expect to see them more.

"I mean I guess they could bother you, but if you don't go intentionally out and disturb them If they do come to you just try not to interfere with them," said Mckensie Nelms,of Knoxville. "We can live with them. as long as we're not disturbing them and they're not disturbing us. If we do the right precautions."

Many say they hope not to see a bear while out enjoying their morning or evening walk in the park.

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