Bear Knocks Person Over, Runs Into Tennessee Restaurant

A bear ran into a Tennessee restaurant and knocked over an individual on the street outside on Friday.

Eyewitnesses told WATE that the black bear had run up the front staircase of Crawdaddy's in the city of Gatlinburg and briefly entered the restaurant before quickly turning around and leaving.

One of those eyewitnesses, Kacie Faulling Myers from South Carolina was visiting the area with her family when they saw the bear outside the restaurant in Gatlinburg—gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park—on Friday afternoon.

Myers captured video footage of the incident that was published by WATE.

In the clip, a crowd of people can be seen gathering around the restaurant in order to catch a glimpse of the bear, which had just entered the building.

Myers can be heard saying in the footage: "Oh my God, Could you imagine sitting in the restaurant and a bear coming out?"

Another unidentified woman in the video says: "I saw people running and I'm like what is going on?"

Myers also snapped an image of the bear from across the street showing the animal walking along the sidewalk with several people watching nearby, including a man taking a picture with his phone from just a few feet away behind a trash can.

The bear even knocked a person over on the street and an ambulance was called to the area, Gatlinburg Police said, according to WATE. It is not currently clear what the individual's condition is.

According to BearWise, there are more than 6,000 black bears living in Tennessee and sightings of the animals are not uncommon in the Gatlinburg area.

In March, a black bear was spotted taking a relaxing dip in a hot tub at a vacation accommodation in the city. And in May, eyewitnesses saw bears scavenging from trash cans at a gas station in the area.

After these incidents, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said Gatlinburg is located within the natural habitat of the bears and encouraged people to stay "bear aware."

According to the agency, bear-human interactions are becoming more common, as both the human and bear populations rise and more people move near public lands and areas inhabited by bears. This increase in bear-human interactions is creating "potentially dangerous situations," it said.

The agency said that people should never feed or approach bears. If a bear approaches you in an urban area, they will almost always find an escape route if they are left alone.

"Locate and remove the lure that caused the bear to come into your area," advice on the agency website reads. "There is almost always a safe escape route when bears enter towns. Crowd control is the initial concern as the behavior of a cornered bear can be unpredictable."

A black bear
Stock image showing a black bear. A bear ran into a restaurant in Gatlinburg, Tennessee on Friday. iStock