TWRA says it did all it could to track down black bear killed on

TWRA says it did all it could to track down black bear killed on Knoxville interstate

Posted:
The bear was seen wandering around West Knoxville on Thursday. (source: KPD) The bear was seen wandering around West Knoxville on Thursday. (source: KPD)
By SHELBY MILLER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - It is likely the bear that was roaming a West Knoxville neighborhood on Thursday was the same bear struck and killed by a car early Friday morning on the interstate.

Previous story: West Knoxville man spots bear outside his window

Knox County dispatchers say the crash happened around 3:50 a.m. on Interstate 40 Westbound, just before Interstate 640 on the west end.

The bear had been seen in the Papermill Drive area around 7 a.m., then near Pond Gap Elementary School around 10 a.m. Thursday.
TWRA officers say that's when they began looking for an opportunity to shoot the bear with a tranquilizer dart, but they had a tough time.

"They can get in areas where they're hard to see. They're big and black and can blend in with shadows, especially in the heat of the day sets in, around noon. They like to hide in the shade because they're wearing a big black coat," said TWRA Wildlife Officer Clint Smith.

Some people say they're upset the TWRA didn't try to catch the bear sooner. Many commented to our WATE Facebook page saying they saw this coming, that Knoxville's too populated of an area to let a black bear roam, and that the TWRA didn't do its job. However, others 6 News spoke to don't believe it's anyone's fault.

"There's just no way, you may see a bear, and then, 5 minutes later you may not be able to track it down. There's just no way. You can't blame anyone," said Wade Bernard.

Smith is sure officers did what they could to try to prevent this tragedy from happening. "If they're not there when you get there, then you can't do anything about it," he said

We're told the people in the car are OK following the crash Friday morning. TWRA says TDOT was called to pick up the bear from the interstate. Officers say, if you come across a bear, notify authorities and keep your distance. This time of year bears are looking for food, so make sure to keep garbage and pet food out of reach.
Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.