Black bear spotted running through downtown Chattanooga

Bear spotted running through downtown Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A small black bear was spotted running around the downtown area of Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Saturday evening, authorities said.

The Chattanooga Police Department confirmed that the animal was trotting through the area around 6 p.m., spokesperson Jeremy Eames told WCRB.

Eames told reporters that officials from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency personnel responded to the scene and were able to subdue the wayward bear, WTVC reported. The animal was later euthanized, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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Euthanization was decided due to the “health and stress of the bear and more importantly, public safety,” according to TWRA spokeswoman Mime Barnes.

“It’s not an easy job for officers and not their outcome of choice,” Barnes said. “They are trained in a decision-making process and to put public safety first.”

During its brief interlude downtown, the bear gained public attention on social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, including a comment from Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, WTVC reported.