Black bear population growing in Middle Tennessee

Friday, August 19, 2016, Vol. 40, No. 34

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency says the population of black bears in middle Tennessee has been growing.

TWRA statewide bear coordinator and biologist Dan Gibbs was quoted by The Tennessean ( as saying that the bears have been making their way to Middle Tennessee from east Tennessee and Kentucky. He also says a number of bears have been coming from Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas.

The agency estimates there are currently about 6,000 black bears in the state.

Gibbs says one of the primary reasons bears have been sighted in the area is because of accessible food sources. He says bears are attracted to open trash containers, grills and bird feeders. He advises people not to leave food out for bears.