According to Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency officer Ben Davis, the female bear had been spotted last week by residents in Benwood off Old Parksville Road. Officials found the bear at a Union Road property and took action to capture it safely.
“We had to use a dart to sedate the bear,” Davis said.
Davis and TWRA officer Brandon Lee had set up a trap off Highway 64 after the small bear had damaged bird feeders while looking for food.
Initially, Davis thought the bear to be about a year old and weighing approximately 80 pounds, based on descriptions from witnesses who had observed it.
According to Davis, the female bear was possibly slightly older than a year old and actually weighed 120 pounds.
“It’s typical this time of year for bears to roam into more populated areas foraging for food. They look for easy food sources, such as pet bowls and trash,” Davis said.
Davis advised neighbors in Benwood and residents of the surrounding area to make sure pet food and waste cans were secured where the bear could not get to them.
“The bear was most likely put out on its own by its mother,” Davis said. “This is the typical cycle which occurs each year. A mother bear will give birth every two years and after her cubs are about a year old, she will run them away to be on their own.
“It has been quiet the past few days since we got her. We must have caught our culprit,” Davis said.