KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Pellisippi State students and teachers received an unusual alert Wednesday morning: A bear cub was seen near campus.
The bear was seen near the Magnolia Avenue Campus, which is located near the Five Points and Edgewood communities. According to a Google Maps, the campus is a few blocks from Vine Middle School as well as multiple parks.
The warning was received by students and staff around 9:30 a.m. It said Campus Police encouraged the Magnolia Avenue community to be “on the lookout until the bear is caught.”
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Just because a mother bear was not seen does not mean there is not one nearby. According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, a cub that is alone may not be orphaned. The mother may be nearby but could be unseen for a while, TWRA adds on its website.
While black bears are not frequently spotted in Knoxville, an adult bear was caught on camera strolling through downtown in December. This month, two women vacationing in Pigeon Forge were visited by a bear as they were at a cabin.
TWRA also noted last summer that it had seen more bear incidents in the Smokies during 2022 than it had in previous years because of the growth in population.