NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A bear roaming through the woods in Davidson County isn't what Chris Conquest expected to see on his trail camera.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said it showed up in Joelton near Baxter Road.
Every six hours, Conquest's trail camera sends a group of pictures to his cell phone. He usually sees deer.
"You're scrolling through and you see deer picture, deer picture and then all of a sudden, a bear. Wow. It's different," Conquest said.
In the four years he's had the camera, he's never captured any bears on it. Conquest sent the two pictures his camera got to the TWRA to help warn neighbors.
The pictures are receiving more attention than he was expecting.
"At this point, I feel like maybe I got a picture of Big Foot or something," Conquest said.
The TWRA said young bears move through Middle Tennessee, but don't usually stick around.
The agency recommends the following if bears have been spotted in your area:
- Never Feed or Approach Bears Intentionally. Feeding bears or allowing them to find anything that smells or tastes like food teaches bears to approach homes and people looking for more. Bears will defend themselves if a person gets too close, so don’t risk your safety and theirs!
- Secure Food, Garbage and Recycling. Food and food odors attract bears, so don’t reward them with easily available food, liquids or garbage.
- Remove Bird Feeders When Bears Are Active. Birdseed and grains have lots of calories, so they’re very attractive to bears. Removing feeders is the best way to avoid creating conflicts with bears.
- Never Leave Pet Food Outdoors. Feed pets indoors when possible. If you must feed pets outside, feed in single portions and remove food and bowls after feeding. Store pet food where bears can’t see or smell it.
- Clean & Store Grills. Clean grills after each use and make sure that all grease, fat and food particles are removed. Store clean grills and smokers in a secure area that keeps bears out.
- Alert Neighbors to Bear Activity. See bears in the area or evidence of bear activity? Tell your neighbors and share information on how to avoid bear conflicts. Bears have adapted to living near people; now it’s up to us to adapt to living near bears.
If you spot a bear, make sure to report it to the TWRA.