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Black Bear Spotted in Waynesboro

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TWRA Agent Brandon Taylor has confirmed the sighting of a black bear in Waynesboro…yes, you read that right, it’s another bear sighting in Wayne County! This time, the bear was captured on a security camera near South High Street in Waynesboro.

Though there isn’t a breeding population of bears in Middle Tennessee yet, the animals are in the fringe counties. It is not uncommon to see young bears moving through the area looking to set up their own home range, according to TWRA.

Agent Taylor sent us the following advice from TWRA concerning bears:

Black Bears in Town 

As bear and human populations increase and more people move near public lands and bear inhabited areas, bear-human interactions are increasing creating potentially dangerous situations. To learn more about coexisting with bears, go to the Bear Wise Website. You can also help prevent safety concerns by following these Bear Wise Basics:

-Never feed or approach bears.

-Do not store food, garbage, or other recyclables in areas accessible to bears.

-Do not feed birds or other wildlife where bears are active.

-Feed outdoor pets a portion size they will completely consume during each meal and securely store pet foods.

-Keep grills and smokers clean and stored in a secure area when not in use.

What to do if a bear approaches you in town:

-Bears will almost always find an escape route if they are left alone.

-Shout and throw sticks or rocks in the vicinity of the bear to encourage flight once an escape route has been established.

-Females with cubs will often climb a tree to for escape cover; never surround a tree holding any bear, especially a female with cubs!

-Locate and remove the lure that caused the bear to come into your area. There is almost always a safe escape route when bears enter towns. Crowd control is the initial concern as the behavior of a cornered bear can be unpredictable. Immediately report to the TWRA or local police any sightings of bears within areas of human population centers.

Tennessee residents and visitors can support bears by taking steps to ensure that wild bears remain “wild” by carefully managing sources of human food or garbage that might attract bears.

The wise stewardship of the habitat we share with bears is the joint responsibility of both wildlife managers and the public and will be essential for a viable future for our state treasure, the black bears of Tennessee.

For more information on bears, visit the TWRA website at https://www.tn.gov/twra/wildlife/mammals/large/black-bears.html.

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