Weather Alert

500 pound black bear living near Tennessee college relocated national forest

▶ Watch Video: Hibernating bears adapt to changing climate

A 500 pound black bear that had been living near Tusculum University in Greeneville, Tennessee, has been captured and relocated to Cherokee National Forest, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said. The bear, nicknamed Big Bruin, was released on Wednesday to a “remote area” of the forest, which is located about 40 miles away from it was captured.

According to the agency, Big Bruin had been living in the area for several years, where it “had regular access to garbage, birdseed, and pet food.” However, instances of property damage “ramped up” last year, the agency said, and the decision was made to try to trap Big Bruin to avoid any possible danger. 

According to TWRA, “Bears that habituate to human presence eventually become a threat to human safety.” The agency also notes that “bears attracted to human food sources, or that are deliberately fed by humans, have a relatively short life.

The black bear managed to evade capture in 2021 after changing its travel routing, the agency said. But recently, Big Bruin apparently returned to its older patterns, and wildlife officers were able to tranquilize it in a vacant wood lot, TWRA said.

The Greenville Fire Department assisted in transporting Big Bruin due it its size, the agency said. According to TWRA, 500 pounds is roughly the heaviest a healthy male black bear gets.



Connect With Us Listen To Us On