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(Photo courtesy Oak Ridge Today)

Bear visits ACHS

A wayward black bear hung out on the campus of Anderson County High School on Tuesday, calmly eating acorns and bothering nobody until it was chased away by Anderson County deputies and TWRA officers. The bear was spotted on the east side of campus shortly before 4 pm, just after classes had dismissed for the day. After school practices for sports teams had just gotten underway but were called off due to the furry visitor. The bear was described as docile and appeared to show no fear of humans as he quietly dug in the ground and ate acorns. TWRA officers at the scene said that it appeared as if the bear had been fed or otherwise become acclimated to people, because most of the time, a bear will steer clear of humans. They stress that feeding bears can often have negative consequences and say that under no circumstances should you ever feed a bear. After about two hours of waiting for the bear to leave, TWRA—which normally encourages bears and other animals to move along–brought in a trap and the gear needed to tranquilize the animal. However, Sheriff Paul White and some of his deputies, along with TWRA officers used a pickup truck to flush the bear out of its hiding spot and then fired rubber bullets and beanbag rounds at the animal until it climbed over a fence and left the area. The bear was last spotted at around 7 pm headed north and there have been scattered sightings in the area since that time. Officials say that students still on campus were kept away from where the bear was and that at no time was anyone ever in any danger. Wildlife officials remind you to not leave food outside and to secure your garbage cans so that bears do not associate humans with food. They also say that if you see a bear, you need to give it plenty of space as it will most likely just keep on walking.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH’s News & Sports Director since 2000.
In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys’ and girls’ basketball and baseball.
Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA.
Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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