Black bear spotted on Maryville College campus

Black bear spotted on Maryville College campus

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A bear was spotted near a residence hall at Maryville College Wednesday night. (source: Facebook) A bear was spotted near a residence hall at Maryville College Wednesday night. (source: Facebook)

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

MARYVILLE (WATE) - Local college students got a scare on campus Wednesday night after spotting a black bear roaming around the dorm rooms.

The 200-pound male black bear was spotted at Maryville College, outside Gibson dormitory, leading several students to snap pictures and video that were posted on social media.

"A bunch of people started getting texts and they were like, ‘There's a bear outside our room,'" Maryville College student Cole Burns said.

Maryville College student Matt Dire was on his way to the library when he spotted the bear.

"It was about 20 feet in front of me and I was just kind of taken aback," Dire said.

This is Dire's senior year and he said never once did he encounter a bear on campus, until Wednesday night.

"Just a lot of shock really, I mean it's just not something you see every day," Dire said. "A lot of people just taking pictures, just freaking out. Chaos."

Biology experts told 6 News because of the school's location, the sighting is not all that surprising.

"We sit next to a national park that has a very large black bear population," Maryville College assistant professor of biology David Unger said. "The black bear population in the national park is large enough that there are going to be bears that are moving out of the park looking for a new place to live."

"I was definitely scared afterwards," Chris Hickman said. "Today we were walking to a car in the parking lot and we were very cautious."

Maryville police said the bear was later killed after being hit by a car around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night on Highway 321 near Food Lion.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency disposed of the body.

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