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Bear Spotted Near Kimball on Saturday

Photo from Star Shavers Hickman.

A bear was spotted again over the weekend in Marion County. The bear was seen in the Battle Creek area near Kimball.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) are reminding residents and visitors to be vigilant and safe during the summer travel season, especially when it comes to bears. A bear was recently spotted in Marion County.

According to TWRA’s bear-conflict reports, the summer travel season is when bears in Tennessee become more active. TDOT also sees an uptick in litter on the state’s roadways and along scenic byways in the summer and reminds residents that food waste is litter, which attracts animals to roadways, endangering them and motorists.

To keep bears and other wildlife from accessing food waste and to help spread the message about litter prevention, TDOT has installed 80 Nobody Trashes Tennessee-branded bear-proof trash cans along seven of the state’s 13 scenic byways. The heavy-duty containers are specifically designed to withstand the curiosity and strength of bears, ensuring that waste is securely contained, and wildlife remains unharmed.

The trash cans have been installed along the following scenic byways: Great River Road, Woodlands Trace, Tennessee River Trail, Cumberland National Scenic Byway, Sequatchie Valley National Scenic Byway, Cherohala Skyway, and East Tennessee Crossing Byway.

TWRA offers the following guidelines to minimize many unnecessary and potentially dangerous bear encounters.

o   Never feed or approach bears!

o   When camping in bear country, keep all food stored in a vehicle and away from tents, and dispose of food waste in the proper receptacles.

o   If you see a black bear from a distance, alter your route of travel, return the way you came, or wait until it leaves the area.

o   Make your presence known by yelling and shouting at the bear to scare it away.

o   If approached by a bear, stand your ground, raise your arms to appear larger, yell, and throw rocks or sticks until they leave the area.

o   Never run from a black bear! This will often trigger its instinct to chase.

o   If a black bear attacks, fight back aggressively and do not play dead! Use pepper spray, sticks, rocks, or anything you can find to defend yourself. If cornered or threatened, bears may slap the ground, “pop” their jaws, or “huff” as a warning. If you see these behaviors, you are too close! Slowly back away while always facing the bear.

TWRA encourages residents to contact them immediately if they witness aggressive behavior by black bears at: tn.gov/twra/law-enforcement#accident. For additional information about what to do when encountering a bear while hiking and camping visit, bearwise.org.