Gatlinburg visitors experience close call with black bear

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Some Gatlinburg visitors had a close call with a bear this weekend in Sevier County.

Jerry Hann shared a video of the bear with WVLT, saying this is a prime example of why people should not approach bears. The bear can be see approaching the people filming from their condo's walkway, when all of a sudden the bear began to charge at them.

Hann said they ran inside, and the bear was just letting them know "not to mess with him."

"He was just letting us know he was coming (through)," Hann added.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has guidelines that go along with what Hann was saying about the encounter. According to park rangers, black bears are wild animals that are both dangerous and unpredictable.

The park warns to not let bears approach you, or try to go toward them. If you do get closer than 50 yard to a bear, you could face fines or even arrest. Park officials recommend you use binoculars, telephoto lens, or a spotting scope to check out the bears from a safe distance.