Bear sighted in downtown Knoxville garage
Knoxville Building Authority security camera footage shows a bear strolling the streets and in parking garages.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Bear videos usually come from downtown Gatlinburg, but on Monday, a video captured a bear in downtown Knoxville.
In the video, a bear casually strolls across the street near the City-County Building in downtown Knoxville.
The video is from Monday morning before dawn and by 7:00 a.m., the surveillance video shows him entering a parking garage.
After that, no one knows where he went.
A bear in Knox County is not common, but it’s not unheard of.
“We get two or three calls a year about a bear in the greater Knoxville area, generally they are seen, and then they just keep moving and move on out into rural areas which is what we want to see. We don’t want to set up camp and hang around as usual when they get in trouble,” said Matt Cameron with Tennessee Wildlife Resource Authority.
Cameron said this bear is probably doing what all bears do this time of year: looking for food. He said the bear is trying to fatten up before the winter den.
“Being one lone bear and is probably one of the cubs born in the fall and has been dispersed by his mother. Probably a young male and it’s just kind of looking for territory and somehow ended up in a Knoxville parking garage,” said Cameron.
While bear sightings are more common closer to the Smoky Mountains, the basic rules stay the same. Cameron said you should not feed them and if you see one in your yard remove bird feeders and any outdoor pet food.
“If we start seeing more nuisance behavior, I think we’re probably promote that a little heavier. Right now the population is not so great that I think it’s a great concern right now for Knoxville area residents,” said Cameron.
Bears in East Tennessee don’t usually do a true hibernation because the temperatures stay relatively mild. So, it is possible to see a bear looking for food on a warm winter day.
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