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Multiple Black Bear Sightings Reported In Middle Tennessee

Posted at 5:23 PM, Jun 04, 2018

A black bear has been recently been spotted in a couple parts of the mid-state; first in Livingston and then in Cookeville.

The first sighting was Saturday near Livingston. Then on Monday morning, a bear was seen more than 20 miles away in downtown Cookeville.

"It was Saturday night about 7:30 I was fixing to pull onto the 111 and I was checking the traffic and when I looked across the road, I saw a bear," said Teresa Stringer.

Stringer frantically called her daughter Hannah about the bear. Hannah got in her car, and drove out of their neighborhood onto the highway where she snapped some photos.

"We've gone to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg. We've been to Cade's Cove, and we were hoping to see a bear, and we saw a bear in our backyard almost," said Hannah.

Hannah got a video of the black bear bounding across Highway 111 near a car dealership and subdivision. Her mom couldn't believe she caught it on camera. 

"It was shocking to see a bear still in broad daylight running across the road," Stringer said.

Hannah said she'd be okay never seeing the bear again. It scared her! 

"I would say medium size? To me it felt like a monster but ya know," she said.

After the sighting, the bear has been the talk of the town. Hannah's post has been shared on Facebook thousands of times. Her mom said they're taking precautions now that they know the bear is on the loose.

"We're probably not going to leave our garage door open," said Teresa.

If a bear tries to attack you, fight back. According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, if you run away, bears think you are prey. 

Here are some tips on what you should do if you encounter a bear. 

If you see the bear in the City of Cookeville, call police because they are keeping tabs on its location. That number is 931-526-2126.