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Rare Black Bear Spotted in Manchester, Prompting Wildlife Agency’s Response

Photo by Lee Rogers.

In a surprising turn of events, residents of Manchester were treated to a rare sighting of a black bear on Sunday, June 25, 2023. The young male bear was spotted near the Regalwood subdivision off Hills Chapel Rd in Manchester, shortly after noon. Thunder Radio News reached out to Tim Hancock, with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), to shed light on the situation.

Hancock explained that the appearance of young male bears in residential areas is due to “family matters”. The mother bears usually push the young males out because they do not reproduce every year. Before the mother bears become receptive again, they run off the male cubs, who are typically between 2 to 3 years old and possess a significant size.

“These young males are trying to find other bears and food sources, so they are on the move,” Hancock stated. He advised the public to exercise caution and maintain a safe distance from the bear. “The best practices for encountering bears are to stay away and not provoke them,” he emphasized.

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Hancock highlighted that one of the main challenges faced by wildlife authorities is the public’s eagerness to capture photographs of the bear. “We urge people not to drive around just to get pictures of the bear, as it can disrupt its natural behavior and potentially pose risks,” he cautioned.

Regarding the course of action, Hancock clarified that there were no plans to tranquilize or relocate the bear as long as it continued to move. The bear was last seen in the Regalwood/Hills Chapel Rd area and has likely moved on to the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC)/Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

However, Hancock did express concerns about the bear potentially finding an easy food source, such as dumpsters, which could lead to it becoming a nuisance. He urged residents to secure their garbage properly to avoid attracting the bear or any other wildlife.

As Manchester residents remain vigilant, local authorities are working closely with the TWRA to ensure the safety of both the public and the bear. Any further developments regarding the bear’s movements or actions will be communicated promptly to the community.

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Remember, if you encounter a bear, it is crucial to maintain a safe distance and allow it to move on naturally.

Listen to the full interview with this audio player:

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