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Curious Black Bear Euthanized After Injuring Tennessee Theme Park Employee

(Zachary Recchia via Storyful)

In a tragic incident, a black bear at the Anakeesta Mountaintop Adventure Park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, was euthanized after injuring a concession stand employee.

The Incident at Anakeesta

Bear euthanized after injuring Tennessee theme park concession stand employee
The black bear was euthanized over the weekend after causing minor injuries to an amusement park employee in Gatlinburg. (Zachary Recchia via Storyful)

The event occurred on June 21, 2024, around 9:30 p.m., when the bear entered the “Bear Can” concession stand, startling customers and staff.

Viral Video Captures the Moment

Bear euthanized after injuring Tennessee theme park concession stand employee
The black bear can be seen on video lunging at and pawing at a female employee of the “Bear Can.” The worker sustained minor injuries. (Zachary Recchia via Storyful)

A video captured by Zachary Recchia shows the bear helping itself to food, specifically gumbo, and then lunging at an unsuspecting employee. <a href="http://<script type="text/javascript" src="https://video.foxnews.com/v/embed.js?id=6355681273112&w=466&h=263"></script><noscript>Watch the latest video at <a href="https://www.foxnews.com">foxnews.com</a>Watch the video here.

Employee Injured but Avoids Serious Harm

Bear euthanized after injuring Tennessee theme park concession stand employee
(Zachary Recchia via Storyful)

The female employee sustained minor injuries to her arm and back but did not require medical attention. <a href="http://<script type="text/javascript" src="https://video.foxnews.com/v/embed.js?id=6355681273112&w=466&h=263"></script><noscript>Watch the latest video at <a href="https://www.foxnews.com">foxnews.com</a>Watch the video here.

The Video

YouTube video
Captured by Zachary Recchia via Storyful

Immediate Response from Wildlife Officials

Black bear head close up in the forest exposing its head, ears, eyes, nose, muzzle enjoying its surrounding and environment with nice bokeh background.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) quickly searched for the bear. By June 24, a bear matching the description was found and euthanized.

Theme Park’s Statement

black bear
Black bear. Image via Depositphotos

Anakeesta Mountaintop Adventure Park expressed their commitment to working with TWRA to prevent such occurrences in the future. <a href="http://<script type="text/javascript" src="https://video.foxnews.com/v/embed.js?id=6355681273112&w=466&h=263"></script><noscript>Watch the latest video at <a href="https://www.foxnews.com">foxnews.com</a>Watch the video here.

Ensuring Visitor Safety

Close Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) in summer forest. Wildlife scene from nature. Asian Black Bear Image via Depositphotos

The incident has raised concerns about the interaction between wildlife and human activities at the park, prompting a review of safety measures.

Bear’s Unusual Behavior

Asian Black Bear Image via Depositphotos

Witnesses described the bear as unusually bold, standing on its hind legs and interacting with the park’s visitors and staff.

Importance of Wildlife Management

black bear via unsplash
black bear via unsplash

This event underscores the importance of effective wildlife management practices in areas where human and animal habitats intersect.

TWRA’s Role

American Black Bear (Ursus Americanus), running on shore, Russian River, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, USA, North America. Image via Depositphotos

TWRA plays a crucial role in managing wildlife in Tennessee and ensuring both animal and human safety.

Community Reactions

Asian Black Bear portrait in nature. Asian Black Bear Image via Depositphotos

The local community expressed sadness over the incident, acknowledging the difficult decision to euthanize the bear.

Looking Forward

Asian Black Bear roaring in nature. Asian Black Bear Image via Depositphotos

Anakeesta and TWRA are committed to enhancing safety measures and maintaining a safe environment for both visitors and wildlife.

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