GATLINBURG, Tenn. -- A post to Facebook is igniting a controversy near Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The screenshot of the post shows pictures of what appears to be a female, accompanied by a male, feeding a young black bear cub. The screenshot allegedly features pictures of a bear cub near Gatlinburg, Tennessee which is the western gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The caption on the screenshot appears to show excitement about breaking the law. The caption reads “Pretty cool start to the morning ”
Several of the posts TrailMob has come across on social media are scathing of the person's actions.
“This family just put this bear and people all at risk of being injured or killed... By feeding him, this morning near Gatlinburg.. Then bragging about it on Facebook.
She wants to share it, I'll help. Please share also... “
Some are saying they have reported the alleged incident to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). The TWRA’s website has a section specifically devoted to Gatlinburg Black Bears. It clearly states “It is unlawful to intentionally or knowingly feed a black bear or intentionally or knowingly leave food or garbage in a manner that attracts bears…”
Our request for comment to the person who posted the pictures has not been returned. We will continue to follow this story and update as details become available. Check right here and on our Facebook page for the latest.