According to Ben Davis of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, during the past few days, a number of reports have been received about a small black bear roaming the neighborhoods south of Highway 64. On Friday, reports were the bear had moved northerly and was in the Old Parksville Road area.
Davis and Bradley County Sheriff’s Office deputies combed the area of Benwood Friday where several residents had spotted the bear, which was believed to be about a year old and weighed about 80 pounds.
“The bear was most likely put out on its on 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,” Davis explained.
Davis and TWRA officer Brandon Lee set a trap south of Highway 64 in hopes of capturing the small animal.
“It’s not unusual for a bear to make its way in toward the city and especially residential neighborhoods. They are essentially lazy and look for easy food sources. Residential area provide the resource,” said Davis.
“We have gone around the Benwood area and asked residents to make sure trash cans are kept secured, and food sources such as bird feeders and pet dishes are emptied,” Davis said.
“Our hope is the bear will work its way back to the mountains on its own, but we will continue to try to trap it.”
Davis said if a resident spots the bear to contact 911 and a Sheriff’s deputy will respond and TWRA will be notified.
“Don’t attempt to trap the bear, just let it roam. It is probably just as confused and scared as you are,” he said.