Officials shoot, kill family of black bears in Gatlinburg

GATLINGBURG, Tenn. (AP) – Wildlife officials in Tennessee say they have shot and killed a family of black bears that were becoming hostile toward people in Gatlinburg.

Tennessee Wildlife Resource Officer Matt Cameron told WVLT-TV ( that a mother bear and three cubs that were at least a year old had been rooting through garbage, climbing into cars and cabins and even chasing people in the Ski Mountain Road area.

Cameron said that officials had tranquilized the bears in the past, but it didn’t help and their behavior continued to get worse. He said shooting and killing them was a last resort, but it was necessary to protect tourists in the area.

Cameron said wildlife officials are searching for a fourth cub, which will also be put down.