Village Bear


TWRA catches Tellico Village bear
Stoney  Sharp   

Sunday May 23, 2010

TWRA officials have confirmed that the bear was caught around midnight on Friday. Trainers received word that the bear was about a mile down the road from his first spotting, so they moved the trap.

The bear is currently in a holding area. He will be relocated tomorrow morning to Cherokee National Forest. TWRA officers said the bear was very docile

TWRA sets trap for Tellico Village bear

Stoney  Sharp

A bear woke Frank Flannelly from his sleep Friday morning just before 3 am. The Tellico Village homeowner said the animal was eating bird seed in his backyard.

"He bent over some bird feeders out here that are made out of metal and then he just fed himself," Flannelly explained. "He came closer to the house because we have a hummingbird feeder and that's when we got a little nervous and called 911."

A 911 operator dispatched an officer with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to the home on Dudala Way.

"I walked around the corner of the house looking for residents and the deputy and I found the bear first," said TWRA officer Anthony Chitwood. "He was standing in the backyard. We ran him off a few times and he ran off and then he came back."

The bear finally ran into the woods for the final time just before the sun rose.

A nearby neighbor believes the bear also visited his house.

"When I got up this morning our flower pots had been knocked over. One of our hanging flower pots had been pulled off its chain," said Jim Foss, who lives on Gadusi Way.

TWRA setup a baited bear trap in Flannelly's backyard in case the animal reappears.

"He still might be around here, I don't know. He may have kept going, but bears are somewhat nocturnal," Chitwood explained.

If captured, the animal would be released into the Cherokee National Forest.

According to TWRA, two other bears have been reported in Loudon County so far this year. They believe the Tellico Village bear could be connected to one of those sightings.

If you believe a bear is in your area, wildlife officers suggest bringing bird feed and trash indoors.