With sightings of a bear in the Powell/Heiskell area, Wildlife Resources Agency officer Roy Smith, a Powell resident, posted this advice on Facebook:
“Many of you are aware there has been a bear spotted in our community numerous times over the past few days. It has raised some concern amongst a number of you, so I wanted to address a few things and offer some advice to those of you who may be concerned about the presence of a black bear in your backyard.
“While we do not have a year-round resident population of bears in Knox County, we are surrounded basically on all sides by stable populations of black bears. As a result, we do have bears wander into our area every year about this time.
“Generally, they cause no problems and move along on their own. That is what we prefer. Under normal circumstances when a bear is just being spotted we do not remove them via trapping, tranquilization etc. Sometimes the bear will warrant removal in a case where it is staying in one particular area as a result of finding a food source or it has been treed by people or dogs and becomes unsafe; but that is the exception, not the rule.
“Please keep in mind that while the word bear may be scary, and they are a wild animal that can be dangerous if put in a bad situation, black bears are generally timid and docile. We have thousands of people in counties on each side of ours who live with black bears in their backyards each and every day without incident.
“If you see a black bear give it space and leave it alone and it will move on. If you live in one of the areas where this particular bear has been spotted, please keep your garbage put away, your dog and cat food put away, bird feeders out of reach, and any other food source he may be able to take advantage of please bring those in. If he does not find a food source he will move on.”
Cameron Jacobs of WATE.com posted a story on Dec. 29 about the capture of a bear on the UT campus. Link here.