Black bear caught on video in Gatlinburg parking garage

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – A Dayton man got closer than most would when he spotted a black bear walking around a Gatlinburg parking garage on Wednesday.

Matthew Eaton told WTVC he and his fiancé were visiting Gatlinburg Wednesday to see the Christmas lights and do some shopping when the encounter occurred.

The two were walking through a parking garage near the Econolodge on Long Branch Road when they spotted the large bear wandering between parked cars.

“The bear was very calm and harmless. Very friendly animal. I’m a big time hunter but I’ve never seen such an amazing creature up close!”

Matthew Eaton tells WTVC

The bear appears to have a tag on his right ear, suggesting wildlife officials may have encountered this one previously.

He said police arrived and were able to shoo the bear into nearby woods without incident.

Wildlife officials say if you see a bear, keep your distance, and call authorities. They also stress that bears can move very fast, and advise people to not follow them or get close to them.

Bear Spotting: Common mistakes to avoid when seeing bears in the Smokies

For more ways to live responsibly and coexists with bears, you can visit TWRA’s website by clicking here.

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