GATLINBURG, Tenn. – A central Alabama family had a bear encounter during a recent trip to the Great Smoky Mountains area, but it turned out to be a pleasant experience.
The bear just wanted to hang out.
McKinley Sellers Poe, of Thorsby, was vacationing in Gatlinburg when a black bear ambled up to the patio where her family was staying, WVLT-TV reported.
“It walked right up to the patio and hung out for a little while,” Poe told the television station.
Poe told WBRC-TV that her father-in-law originally spotted the bear. The animal stayed on the porch outside the patio for about 15 minutes before leaving, the television station reported.
“I just wanted to hug him,” Poe told WVLT.
Advised by her in-laws that was not a smart course of action, Poe contented herself with simply watching the bear with her family from a safe distance, according to the television station.
She did not touch or feed the bear, according to WVLT.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a list of what to do if you encounter a bear.
Dana Soehn, a spokesperson for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, said that natural food sources for bears are low, which means the animals are more likely to forage for food near people, WVLT reported.
Help a Deserving Family Get a New Roof for Free!
SeaWorld Howl-O-Scream and Spooktacular
LISTEN LIVE: Listen to Houston’s Eagle now!
Dean & Rog’s Thousand Dollar Minute
Play the Harley High Roller Contest
Dean & Rog Mornings
On-air surprise: Joe Buck learns he is joining father in Pro Football Hall of Fame
‘Leave him alone’: Adele halts Las Vegas show, scolds security for ‘bothering’ fan