Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Bear Sightings In Overton Becoming More Common

Multiple bear sightings have been reported in the Alpine area of Overton County over the last few weeks.

TWRA Outreach and Communications Coordinator Mime Barnes said that bear sightings in the Upper Cumberland have become more common as bear populations grow and their ranges increase. She said that bears have come to find the region suitable for habitation.

“And that habitat meets their needs,” Barnes said. “So shelter, food, water, and a place to raise their young are their four needs and as long as their needs are met, there’s no need to move on.”

Barnes said that she strongly suggests residents keep their yards tidy, remove bird feeders, and be conscientious of putting trash out to prevent attracting bears. She said that things like greasy grills or unpicked fruit and vegetables can contribute to a bear issue as well. Barnes said that all of these things will attract bears as easy sources of food.

Barnes said that it’s important to not engage with the animals in the event of a sighting. She said it’s best to let the bears be.

“Never follow a bear,” Barnes said. “So many people want to get photographs, but what it does is teach wildlife that we’re safe. And on the contrary, we want bears to have that normal fear and move in the opposite direction.”

Barnes said that people can report bear sightings to TWRA through its website, but calling sightings in is not necessary.

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