When going on vacation the last thing you would expect is to come across the local wildlife in close proximity. That is exactly what happened to Chad Morris while he was on vacation with his family in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Ultimately, no one was hurt and the only thing damaged was his vehicle.
Here is the wild tale of Moriss’ surprising face-to-face meeting with some local black bears.
A Surprising Discovery
It all started when Morris, from Owensboro, Kentucky, heard his family yelling for him to come outside. Upon walking out he was greeted by the last thing he expected, a family of black bears was crawling in and around his car, which was parked in the driveway with the windows down.
According to Morris, “As soon as I saw them they were walking up to my car and the three cubs hopped in. They saw us standing around taking pictures, but they never bothered us.”
The Bears’ Curiosity Got the Better of Them
It seems the baby bears couldn’t help themselves and had decided to see what this strange object was. They crawled around inside Morris’ car, even playing in the driver’s seat. One of the bears leaned out the window to take a look.
And while neither human nor animal was harmed in the exchange, the bears did do some damage to Morris’ car. The most obvious destruction was a big chunk tore out of the driver’s seat and some scratches on the interior. In addition, a football in the car had some claw marks, but all in all not too much damage.
Watched Closely By Mama Bear
The bear cubs’ mom watched the whole exchange from nearby. The baby bears for their part seemed while aware of the human onlookers, went going about their destructive play.
Finally though, the cubs tired of their exploration and climbed out of Morris’ car.
“They crawled out of the windows and two of them stood up next to my mom and dad’s car, but their windows were up. After five more minutes of walking around the cars they went back down the mountain together, off in the woods.”
What to Do if You Come Across a Black Bear
While this bear/human encounter went well for all involved, not all such encounters end happily. No matter how cute they are, bears are wild animals and should be treated as such. If you find yourself face to face with a black bear, you can do the following:
- Stand and face the bear. Never turn away or run.
- Make yourself as big as possible by raising your hands.
- Yell or bang on items to make noise.
- Use bear spray, if you have it, if the bear approaches.
- Contrary to popular belief, do not play dead. If the bear attacks you, get to a secure area.
- If attacked by a bear, only fight back if you have no other choice.
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If you notice bear cubs in your vicinity, never place yourself in between the mother bear and her cubs. And, no matter how cute they are, never approach bear cubs. The mother might interpret this as an aggressive action toward her young and attack to prevent them from coming to harm. Remaining aware of your surroundings and showing the proper respect to nature can keep you out of harm’s way