Gatlinburg Closes City Dump to Combat Bears

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Gatlinburg, Sevier County (WVLT) - Gatlinburg thinks it's found one of the main reasons why the bears are moving into neighborhoods Off Ski Mountain Road, and they've done something about it.

TWRA asked the City of Gatlinburg today to remove about a dozen dumpsters off Ski Mountain Road because of the number of bears coming there looking for food.

Over the past few weeks, the TWRA says about 10 bears have been going through the garbage, a few have been trapped and removed.

Three cubs and a mother bear, caught over the weekend...were euthanized.

All day today, the dumpsters were being moved out of the area.

A truck is now parked at the site to take the garbage from hundreds of chalets that use those dumpsters.

In the budget this summer the city approved a trash compactor that should be up and running within two to three weeks.

"One compactor will take the place of about the dozen dumpsters that were there, so it's also a much more effective way of handling the garbage that comes into the facility," says Gatlinburg City Manager Cindy Ogle.

Ogle says the compactor has an animal proof lid and will be more efficient because it can be dumped weekly as opposed to the dumpsters which were emptied sometimes twice a day.

You can dump trash at the truck between the hours of 8 and 4. Garbage can no longer be dropped off when there is no one at the site.

TWRA says they think the mother bear will return to her cubs at night when things have calmed down.