Black Bear in Gatlinburg Caught Trying to Climb in Vehicle (Video Included!)

A black bear with his paw on a rearview mirror.
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A black bear was caught trying to climb inside a vehicle in Gatlinburg on May 1! A man caught it all on video and shared it on his Facebook page. You can watch the video here and learn more about what to do when you see a bear in Gatlinburg:

Black Bear in Gatlinburg Tries Climbing in Car

On May 1, a video of a black bear in Gatlinburg trying to climb into a vehicle made its rounds on Facebook. The man who took the video, Brian Winters, said he caught the action on camera while he was at work on Ski Mountain Road. The window of the vehicle was cracked open, and the bear was trying to pull it open to get inside. Winters said he posted the video as a “lesson to keep your windows rolled up.”

What to Do When You See A Black Bear in Gatlinburg

A black bear cub in the Smoky Mountains.This is just one of the bear sightings that has been recorded in Gatlinburg! Males, moms, and their cubs are out around this time of year looking for food, and moving around a lot to find that food. That’s why it’s important to bear-proof your trash and not leave any food laying around. If you do happen to see a black bear while you’re in Gatlinburg, be sure to keep these safety tips in mind:

Keep a safe distance: The national park recommends staying at least half a football field away from the bear. This allows both you and the bear to feel safe.

Remain watchful: Pay close attention to how the bear acts when you spot it. If your presence causes it to change its behavior, you’re too close. Being too close might encourage aggressive behavior. Slowly increase the distance between yourself and the bear.

If the bear approaches you, don’t run: Though it’s unlikely you encounter an aggressive bear, it’s important to know what to do if it happens. If the bear approaches you, change your direction, and move slowly away. If the bear continues to follow you, stand your ground. Identify yourself so it knows you’re a human and not a prey animal. If you scream or make sudden movements, it can trigger an attack.

Where to Safely View Black Bears

If you’re hoping to spot some black bears during your visit, there are some places you can visit that allow you to view them safely! Here are some of the best:

Cades Cove: Cades Cove is one of the most popular places in the national park to see black bears. They tend to be more visible in the early mornings and late evenings. When you travel the Cades Cove Loop Road, you have the opportunity to spot the bears from the comfort of your car! Cades Cove may be the most popular, but the bears call the national park their home, so there’s a chance you’ll see them anywhere throughout the park.

Ober Gatlinburg: If you want to view black bears in Gatlinburg in a controlled environment, head to the Wildlife Encounter at Ober Gatlinburg! The Wildlife Encounter is home to a black bear family that includes Minnie and BJ and their grown 6-year-olds, Holly and Chief. When you visit the Wildlife Encounter, you can also see river otters, bobcats, birds of prey, flying squirrels, and more native Smoky Mountain animals.

Three Bears General Store: If you want the chance to spot black bears while also shopping for unique Smoky Mountain souvenirs, head to the Three Bears General Store in Pigeon Forge. This 40,000 square-foot store is a shopper’s paradise and has its own live bear habitat! The live bear habitat allows you to see and feed the black bears. After you’re finished, get yourself a stuffed black bear to take back home with you!

More About Black Bears in Gatlinburg

Keep an eye out for black bears during your next visit to Gatlinburg! Learn more about black bear safety tips before planning your trip so you know how to keep both you and the bear safe if you encounter one.

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