More black bears in Middle Tennessee

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You might remember that last year a bear was spotted in DeKalb, Coffee and Grundy counties. With the fires in Gatlinburg last year, we could see even more bears this year.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is reminding residents that there may be a good reason why some black bear cubs appear to be alone, if you should see one.

Mother bears tend to search for food when it is scarce. Mothers place cubs in areas that they believe are safe while she is searching for food. A cub may be alone for hours until the mother returns.

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TWRA says this is similar to a human leaving a child with a babysitter, however, the "sitter" could be a tree near a person's home.

If a cub is actually an orphan, TWRA will take the animal to the Appalachian Bear Rescue for rehabilitation. Only TWRA and National Park Service are allowed to catch and deliver a bear to the organization.

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TWRA should only be contacted about a suspected orphaned bear cub if the animal has been alone for more than 36 hours or if the mother is confirmed dead.
ABR says if you spot a bear cub, do not go near it. Also, do not take pictures of it by standing under a tree. This can make the mother feel threatened and not return.

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