A Tennessee restaurant had a wild run in with a younger bear cub who apparently had a hankering for pizza.
Carolyn Ball, a waitress at Howard’s Steakhouse in downtown Gatlinburg, mentioned a black bear cub got here up from the creek close to the restaurant and helped himself to a buyer’s pizza.
“Final week, we had a bear climb up a tree from the creek and onto the patio the place some clients have been consuming. The bear stunned them. They clearly obtained up and left the meals on the desk. The bear stood on the desk and ate a pizza,” mentioned Ball to WBIR.
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Although the cub shocked the patrons eating, the restaurant is just a few hundred yards from Nice Smoky Mountains Nationwide Park the place wild black bears run free.
Ball posted in regards to the encounter on Fb and jokingly referred to the patio as “pet-friendly.” Nevertheless, many weren’t as amused and mentioned Ball ought to have been attempting to scare the animal away quite than taking footage.
“Nobody ought to permit that… it’s essential scare the crap out of him so he leaves. Cease feeding him! He’ll be killed if that retains occurring,” one individual wrote.
“As an alternative of taking footage whereas the bear eats pizza, why not be QUICK to scare him off. That is like giving a loss of life sentence to this bear. This makes me very unhappy, and ashamed. Quickly TWRA could have no selection however euthanize this bear due to poor decisions by people. Grrrr,” one other mentioned.
Ball mentioned she didn’t “mess” with the bear in any respect.
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“I let it end the pizza as a result of I do not need to mess with a bear when it’s consuming. I do not need to be attacked or eaten myself. At that time, it was already on the desk consuming the pizza, so simply let it end after which ran it off,” Ball mentioned to WBIR.
“We do not deliberately serve bears. They arrive up and serve themselves,” Ball added.
Although biologist Dan Gibbs, who works for the Tennessee Wildlife Sources Company, agreed with the backlash on social media.
“You probably have a bear that has already misplaced its concern of individuals a lot that it’s climbing on a crowded patio in the midst of the day, it isn’t going to reverse that conduct. Bears escalate their conduct, so this was a bear that has labored its approach as much as doing this. It did not simply determine someday to go to a restaurant,” mentioned Gibbs to WBIR.
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In accordance with the Wildlife Sources Company, when bears are deliberately fed, they be taught to affiliate folks to meals and lose their pure concern of people – a concern Gibbs mentioned ought to be restored for the nice of the bear.
“The very first thing [people] should be doing is attempting to make as a lot noise as attainable to discourage that bear from developing any nearer,” Gibbs mentioned. “It is advisable to make it a unfavourable expertise and attempt to scare the bear away.”
Ball informed WBIR that the patio was closed for a few days till the bear may very well be trapped.
Carolyn Ball didn’t instantly return a request for remark.