GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – A mother bear and her two yearlings were trapped and euthanized in Sevier County on Saturday after the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says they were causing extensive nuisance issues and showing aggressive behavior toward people.
TWRA spokesperson Matt Cameron says the three bears were trapped somewhere behind the Park Vista Hotel in Gatlinburg. The National Park Service helped with the euthanasia via chemical methods.
Cameron says the bears tore the screens off a man’s house and chased him back inside. They say the bears also chased some construction workers and they had been getting into and damaging vehicles.
The TWRA is reminding people that both intentionally and unintentionally feeding bears gets them accustomed to human food, prompting them to continue to seek out humans as a source of food. Bears then usually lose their fear of humans and it results in them showing threatening behaviors, as was the case with these bears.
Cameron says since bears have learned to open car doors and look for food, to always keep your cars locked, windows rolled up, and never leave food or anything that smells like food inside.