A video was posted of a curious black bear that stole some lunch out of a truck in Gatlinburg Monday.
The videographer, Steve Hogarth, was at his job site on Topside Road in Gatlinburg when the bear sauntered up to a blue truck, “I see a lot of bears up there.”
Initially Hogarth said he noticed a bear sitting near their construction site, so he started recording on his cell phone.
“I thought he was just going to walk across the road,” he said.
The bear was eyeing the truck, rearing up on the front passenger door and using its right paw to pull the door handle and open the door.
“You could see his little feet moving under the door and he rummaged around and then he backed off,” said Hogarth.
There was a brown paper bag of food sitting just inside the passenger side, which the bear took and carried in its mouth behind the truck. Yogi Bear would be proud but Hogarth says the bag just had leftover garbage in it.
“But what isn’t on the video, he came back about 10 minutes later and Matt, the heat and air guy, locked his doors at that point and that bear came back and was opening every door,” said Hogarth.
The video was posted by Hogarth’s wife, Karen Hogarth, and shared on the group page Sevierville Speaks Out.
Since this break-in, Hogarth says he’s been warning all the crews coming up to work in Gatlinburg.
“Make sure your windows are up and your doors are locked or you’re risking a bear getting into your car,” said Hogarth.
TWRA says black bears are beginning to gear up for that fall push to find calories ahead of hibernation. Female bears will start denning in late November or early December, depending on the weather.
Wildlife officers say this video is a reminder that we need to be responsible if we live, visit or work in the Smokies. They say never feed a bear deliberately or by accident. Never leave food or garbage behind in your car, lock doors and roll up windows.
They say by feeding bears, even accidentally, it conditions the animals to be more comfortable around humans which is a danger. Sadly as we’ve seen in the past, bears that have become a threat are often euthanized by wildlife officers.
For more ways to live responsibly and coexists with bears, you can visit TWRA’s website by clicking here.