The black bear in this file photo has been outfitted with a radio collar. AP photo.
KINGSPORT — A black bear — or maybe two — was spotted in the Sullivan Gardens community twice this week and in response, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is offering advice to people on what to do to help keep bears from wandering into your neighborhood.
The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department confirms it received reports of bear sightings near Lone Star Road Wednesday morning and near Marilee Way around noon on Thursday. Both reports were referred to the TWRA.
Darrell Moore, principal at Sullivan Gardens K-8, said the school heard about the bear sighting from a member of the community Wednesday morning. The school was not locked down, but students were kept off the playground that day as a precaution, Moore said.
Dan Gibbs, a wildlife biologist with the TWRA, said the black bear population in Tennessee is on the rise and as a result people should be prepared in case a bear is encountered, because right now, bears are out looking for calories.
“If people would do some simple things, keep trash secure during the week either in a can in the garage or purchase a bear resistant trash can,” Gibbs said. “And don’t feed pets outside. If you do, don’t dump half a pound of food out, just put enough for them to eat in one sitting.”