black bear
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Watch: Black Bear Eating Gumbo Inside Concession Stand Lunges at Worker

Video emerged this week of a black bear at a theme park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, getting a little too close for comfort.

Video emerged this week of a black bear at a theme park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, getting a little too close for comfort. The video, filmed last week in the back of a concessions stand at Anakeesta Mountaintop Adventure Park, shows the bear standing with its paw covered in food.

"I got nothing for you, buddy," said a male voice from behind the camera. "Oh, look it. He's drooling. He's all about this gumbo." Then, the bear looks around as if it's a little confused or scared or both. "Sorry, man I got nothing—oh!" the voice said as the bear licks its paw as it turns.

Then, something terrifying happens. As the bear begins to exit the door, an employee steps in front of it. By the sound of her scream, she had no idea that the bear was there. And then the bear pounces on the girl as she tries to run away. Fortunately, the bear scurries off in the other direction.

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"Oh, f-ck," the voice behind the camera says. "Are you okay?" Then, the girl quickly runs through the door, she grabs a broom used to wedge it open, and shuts it tight. "Did he get you?" another voice asks. The girl pulls up the sleeve of her t-shirt and says, "Yes." Luckily, it was only a minor scratch.

Black bear euthanized after "attack"

In a statement, officials with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) said they trapped multiple black bears following the incident and identified the one seen inside the concession stand. Then, they decided to euthanize it.

Dan Gibbs, coordinator for TWRA's black bear program, explained how they came to that decision. "TWRA does not enjoy having to euthanize any wildlife, especially bears and we don't do it indiscriminately," he said.

"We utilize what we call the 'Bear Conflict Matrix,' which was developed by wildlife professionals as a guide for addressing human/bear conflict," he said. And added that due to the circumstances and the physical contact, "this bear was not a candidate for relocation."

Additionally, TWRA officials met with Anakeesta representatives to take preventative measures to avoid future incidents and improve park safety. Since the incident, the park has bought electric fencing and mats to deter bears from entering the property. They also ordered steel caging for concession stands and garbage bins.

"We are making improvements to our park every day with guidance from local agencies on how to stay 'BearWise,'" said Bryce Bentz, Anakeesta's president. The term "BearWise" is an agency marketing term to help inform the public about how to be safe around bears.