Cobbly Nob residents upset over mother bear shooting

Cobbly Nob residents upset over mother bear shooting

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The mama bear and her cubs were familiar faces as residents looked out their windows. The mama bear and her cubs were familiar faces as residents looked out their windows.
The three cubs have been spotted since the incident. The three cubs have been spotted since the incident.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

COBBLY NOB (WATE) - Residents in Sevier County's Cobbly Nob community are very upset over a mother bear that was shot and killed.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says it happened in August.

"We've watched bears for years. We've watched little bears grow, up, become big bears, and have babies," said Ann Michels, who's lived in the community for 17 years.

She says a lot of people settle in the scenic area for the mountains and the wildlife that comes with it. She says the mama bear and her cubs were familiar faces as residents looked out their windows.

"She would walk by, and I would see her in the middle of the road many times with her babies behind her. It's a thrill to see them," Michels said. "They're beautiful."

Residents say they were terribly disturbed to learn the mother was shot to death. They tell us the man was walking his dog in the Vixen Run area. His dog was alarmed by the bear so he went back and got his rifle.

"The mother bear reared up, but didn't do any damage. He went back to the house, left the dog, got a .22 rifle and shot the bear," said Robert Brannon, with Friends of the Newport Animal Shelter.

Brannon is one among many who's very upset about the incident. "We want this to be prosecuted to the tenth degree. That shows other people you can't do these things," he said.

6 News stopped by the home where the person believed to have fired the shot lives. A man there said it was a rental cabin, and he didn't know anything about it.

The three cubs have been spotted since the incident. Residents hope they make it without their mom.

"We're mostly just sad and worried about the three babies. Hopefully there's a good acorn crop and they'll go into hibernation and then emerge as three healthy bears next year," Michels said.

6 News contacted TWRA for a status on this case. They can only say they're still investigating.

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