Black Bear Sauntering Across Tennessee Road Brings Traffic to a Standstill

A black bear casually sauntering across a street in Tennessee brought traffic to a standstill, as people scrambled to get out of its path.

Tourists and residents alike were taken aback when the carnivore suddenly appeared on the main road, Parkway, flanked by shops and restaurants, in Gatlinburg.

The bear appeared from a sideroad and without a moment's hesitation walked into the street, bringing cars on both lanes to a halt.

Crowds who were about to cross the bear's path stopped in their tracks and turned back around, with some fleeing in the opposite direction.

In the background of the clip, shared last week, a man can be heard off-camera telling unsuspecting pedestrians: "Don't, don't! Back up, back up."

The black bear breezily crosses the street and slips between railings, before continuing its path past a Chinese restaurant and a winery.

The incredible sighting was captured on film by a local resident, who shared the footage to their TikTok account @BurgBearWatch. They simply captioned the viral video, which can be seen here: "Just trying to walk to lunch."

In the comment section they revealed more about the bear, which even has a name. "His name is Clyde, and he has apparently come to town 16 times this summer. He's a regular," they said.

And they also shared their thoughts on why Clyde was in town, adding: "It's also happening because winter is coming and they are all searching for food."

Their page is dedicated to "tracking the biggest and best bears in Gatlinburg, Tennessee," with this video their most popular by far, amassing more than seven million views.

They've since reposted it with various songs dubbed on top, including Vanessa's Carlton's A Thousand Miles, with this version, uploaded on Monday, racking up three million views alone.

The song choice was a hit with fans, with even the verified TikTok account for the Sacramento History Museum commenting: "Perfect song choice."

As well as praising the tune, people cracked numerous jokes about the bear, with Esesalo saying: "He's just trying to go to the store to purchase his bear necessities."

"Can someone please explain to the bear about the dangers of crossing the streets without looking both ways?" Jenny-Mitchell Muro asked.

While Haysfordays joked: "People acting like they've never seen a bear picking up Chinese for dinner."

Although Madison M. DeChenne pointed out: "Everyone running away don't do that. Stand firm and say loudly 'hey bear' running makes them want to chase when before they were just chill."

That advice is blacked up by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, who said: "If approached by a bear, stand your ground, raise your arms to appear larger, yell and throw rocks or sticks until it leaves the area. Never run from a black bear! This will often trigger its natural instinct to chase."

Newsweek reached out to @BurgBearWatch for comment.

File photo of a black bear.
File photo of a black bear. Footage of one crossing a street in Tennessee has been watched more than 7 million times. Frank Fichtmüller/Getty Images