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TWRA Euthanizes Bear That Lunged at Concession Stand Worker

The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

TWRA Euthanizes Bear That Lunged at Concession Stand Worker

Posted 2024-07-05  by  Stephanie Mallory

The bear was filmed inside the stand at the Anakeesta Mountaintop Adventure Park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

A black bear caught on video lunging at an employee at the Anakeesta Mountaintop Adventure Park in Gatlinburg last month has been euthanized.

Footage of the bear inside a concession stand at the attraction on June 20 shows it standing at the concession counter and then lunging at an employee as it attempts to leave through a doorway.

A press release from Anakeesta says the bear and employee made brief physical contact.

According to, a bear matching the description of the animal seen on video has been euthanized.

“TWRA does not enjoy having to euthanize any wildlife, especially bears, and we don’t do it indiscriminately,” Dan Gibbs, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency Black Bear Coordinator, said. “We utilize what we call the ‘Bear Conflict Matrix,’ which was developed by wildlife professionals as a guide for addressing human/bear conflict. In this incident, the bear entered a concession stand with humans present and made physical contact with an employee causing minor injuries. Unfortunately, this bear was not a candidate for relocation.”

Anakeesta has implemented new safety measures at the park, including temporary electric fencing and electrified “unwelcome mats” that will be used when the park is closed to guests. Steel cages to secure concession stand doors and contain garbage before it is taken to trash compactors will also be utilized.

“Our team is expanding our partnership with TWRA by implementing new initiatives to keep bears and people safe during their Smoky Mountain vacations,” Anakeesta President Bryce Bentz said. “We are making improvements to our park every day with guidance from local agencies on how to stay ‘BearWise’.”

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