Bear Roams the Streets of Chattanooga then Euthanized: Reactions

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- As if 2020 wasn’t crazy enough, a bear walked around the streets of Chattanooga searching for food.

“My gosh that’s freaky. I’d be running.”

Ethan Dudley was in shock to find out a bear lurked the streets of downtown Chattanooga near his UTC campus.

“I’m glad I wasn’t around. I’d probably be running the other way.”

His peer, Mary Laufenberg, felt the same way.

“It made me really scared because it was at the restaurant we eat at all the time and if we have gone out that day, we would have seen it.”

News 12’s very own Chip Chapman caught a sight of that bear when he was standing on Chestnut Street.

“Here comes a bear and it’s a good size bear moving at a good clip.”

A bear’s instinct is to look for food.

Chip’s first instinct… protect his wife.

“I started moving slowly towards her but the bear was running on past. This bear was a good size bear no doubt about that and he was within five or six feet of us.”

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency confirmed that the bear was euthanized.

Viewers message News 12 saying they were “appalled” and wished for it to be relocated.

“It is not a good day when we have to put down an animal because of human behavior” said Mime Barnes of T.W.R.A.

Barnes says the bear was previously relocated before.

“The animal was put in that situation because it was habituated to human food and knows to go towards humans for that food. Secondly so many people follow that animal it created an unsafe situation.”

Barnes recommends visiting http://bearwise.org for information on how to prevent wild life from entering domestic spaces.

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