JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Officials in Tennessee have been relocating black bears found in urban areas and warning residents not to harm the animals.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency spokesman Matthew Cameron says three bears were recently captured in Johnson City and southwestern Washington County.
Cameron told the Johnson City Press all three were later relocated to a more appropriate area, including one brought to the Cherokee National Forest in Cocke County.
"They said it was about a 350-pound male, so it was a pretty good-sized bear," Cameron said. "Hopefully, he'll stay wild up there."
The president of Appalachian Bear Rescue in Townsend, Dana Dodd, says officials are investigating the shooting of a mother bear, who was scene with three cubs. Dodd says the cubs will be cared for and released into the wild later this year.
In addition to the adult, TWRA also located two black bear cubs and their injured mother Monday after a 911 call was made about three bears roaming the area near Tenn. Highway 107 and Clarks Creek Road. By the time agents arrived at the scene the mother black bear had already been killed by TWRA officers because of a pre-existing injury that left her hind legs paralyzed. TWRA is investigating the shooting
The officers found shelter for the brother and sister cubs at Appalachian Bear Rescue in Townsend.