(WBIR-Townsend) A woman in Townsend believes bears killed her two dogs this past weekend near her property on Johnson Mountain Way.
While outside her home in the mountains on Friday, Mary John Clark saw her dog, Buddy, take off running down her driveway. The Pomeranian never came back.
Then on Saturday, her dog, Pepper, saw a bear and cub in the woods behind Clark's backyard and chased after them. Clark and her husband heard the dog struggling.
Later, she saw a bear again and called the Townsend Police Department.
According to Police Chief Ron Suttles, officers were not able to find the bears. He thinks the grown bear was most likely trying to protect its cub.
Clark said this is the first time something like this has happened in the 15 years she has lived on Johnson Mountain Way.
"It's broken my heart. And I want other people to know this is happening and it's happening behind my house," Clark said.
Clark only had Buddy and Pepper for about six months and did not have a picture of them.
According to Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Public Information Officer Matt Cameron, officers plan to take a trap up there.
It is the latest report of people and animals having close encounters with bears near the Smokies.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Spokesperson Dan Soehn said it is common for bears to move a lot in June, searching for food. According to Soehn, it should slow down throughout the month of July.
GSMNP has temporarily closed several trails and campsites because of bear sightings.