Unbearably close 500-pound bear relocated to remote forest region in Tennessee

Habituation to humans and feasting on unnatural foods is normally a death sentence for bears.

But one very large, very habituated black bear was recently captured and successfully moved to a remote location in Tennessee.

The 500-pound bruin was living near Tusculum University in Greeneville, and relocated Wednesday to the Cherokee National Forest with the help of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Greeneville Fire Department.

“The bear had regular access to garbage, birdseed, and pet food had and been in the area for a few years but ramped up its activity and property damage last year,” Wildlife Sgt. David Carpenter said in a statement.

Officials hatched a plan to capture the bear where it had been hanging out, but when the animal changed its travel routine, officers tracked it to a small vacant wood lot where they were able to tranquilize it.

That’s when the fire department stepped in to help.

The big bear was tranquilized. Photo: Greeneville Fire Department/Facebook

Firefighters helped move the bear to the transport cage.

The bear was very much asleep when it was being moved. Photo: Greeneville Fire Department

“They were glad to help and were able to use some of their specialized equipment to expedite the process,” the wildlife agency said. “TWRA is extremely thankful for their help! 🚒👨‍🚒🐻

The bear was transported to the Cherokee National Forest. Photo: Greeneville Fire Department.

“With today’s calls “bear-ly” coming in, GFD B-Shift crews were assisting the TWRA remove a bear from a residential neighborhood in the Meadows to be relocated to a remote mountain location,” the fire department posted on Facebook.

It was a very hairy job, but it meant a happy ending for the animal that could have become a real problem — for people and the bear.

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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