Three other bears were spotted hanging out around the back porch of the Gatlinburg, Tennessee retreat
Spotting a black bear can be a treat for those visiting the Great Smoky Mountains, but two women vacationers recently experienced a black bear encounter that was a little too close for comfort.
Michelle Eberhart and a friend were enjoying their morning in a Gatlinburg, Tennessee, cabin when the friend spotted a black bear leaning on the back door.
“She just started pointing and I was like, ‘What?’ and so I turned and looked and there’s a bear just putting his full force on the door. And then the door opens,” Eberhart told WATE 6 On Your Side.
The bear stepped inside the cabin, and the ladies fled to a bedroom for safety.
“It was just almost surreal, it was just a fight-or-flight, like I just have to remove us from this situation and make sure that we’re at least in a safe place,” Eberhart said.
While the bear explored the cabin's interior, three more bears hung out around the porch.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency spokesperson Matt Cameron says this behavior is unusual for wild bears.
“It’s really not typical bear behavior for them to come on to someone’s porch and start looking for food. That means those bears have been around humans and have received handouts or have found a food source around a dwelling,” Cameron said.
Police managed to get the bear out of the cabin and shoo the other three bears away from the porch, but the bears managed to snag a few treats as they exited the property.
“They got five pounds of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and a pound of M&M’s, and two pounds of Sour Patch Kids and two bags of potato chips … two beers and two Diet Cokes and about 20 Zyrtecs,” Eberhart said.
Stephanie Mallory is a mom, a hunter and Realtree’s PR Coordinator. She’s here to deliver an insider’s look at the outdoor business and give her opinion on all things outdoors—whether you asked for it or not.