TWRA: Bear euthanized after attacking woman in Sevierville

A bear attacked a woman in Sevierville, according to officials with the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency.
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 7:14 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 16, 2022 at 2:06 PM EDT
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"It just made a lunge at me." | Bear Victim Speaks

LIVE: 90-year-old bear attack victim speaks about the event.

Posted by WVLT on Thursday, June 16, 2022

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A woman was attacked by a black bear on Abbott Rd. in Sevierville Wednesday, according to officials with the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency.

“At around 4:30 p.m., a 90-year-old woman was sitting on a porch swing when she was surprised by a sow bear with three yearlings that came onto her porch,” officials said. “The woman began shaking a lawn chair in an attempt to scare them when the sow scratched her on the arm and the bears fled the area.”

The woman was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, according to officials.

Wildlife officials euthanized the bear and are monitoring the behavior of the yearlings, according to officials.

“Area residents have not reported any prior nuisance issues with this group of bears,” officials said.

Another woman and her daughter were injured Sunday morning after a bear ripped into their tent at the Elkmont Campground.

The bear involved in Sunday’s incident was also euthanized, according to officials with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

GSMNP Representative Dana Soehn spoke to WVLT News, saying that visitors should take extra care over the next few weeks.

“Natural food sources are scarce during this time period before the berries ripen,” she said. “It’s extremely critical, over the next few weeks, that all visitors follow BearWise practices when hiking and camping in bear country. Any aggressive or unusual bear encounter should be reported immediately to park rangers.”

The TWRA listed advice for when you see a bear while in town. This advice is similar to what you should do when you see one in the wild.

  • Never feed or approach bears.
  • Do not store food, garbage or other recyclables in areas accessible to bears.
  • Do not feed birds or other wildlife where bears are active.
  • Feed outdoor pets a portion size they will completely consume during each meal and securely store pet foods.
  • Keep grills and smokers clean and stored in a secure area when not in use.
  • Talk to family and neighbors when bear activity is occurring in your area.
  • Bears will almost always find an escape route if they are left alone.
  • Shout and throw sticks or rocks in the vicinity of bear to encourage flight once an escape route has been established.
  • Females with cubs will often climb a tree to escape cover; never surround a tree holding any bear, especially a female with cubs!
  • Locate and remove the lure that caused the bear to come into your area. There is almost always a safe escape route when bears enter towns. Crowd control is the initial concern as the behavior of a cornered bear can be unpredictable. Immediately report to the TWRA or local police any sightings of bears within areas of human population centers.

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