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TWRA releases video of black bear brawl, showing how strong they can be

Officials with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said they believed the brawl could have broken out over a food source.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Many visitors and locals of East Tennessee think of black bears as being large, gentle creatures. However, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency released a video of a brawl between two bears on Wednesday, showing how strong and aggressive they could be.

The video was captured by BJ and Micah Campbell, according to the TWRA, and showed two large black bears fighting near Ely's Mill in Gatlinburg. They were safe inside a garage while the bears fought it out, and officials said the video shows these large creatures had the capacity to be fierce.

TWRA officials said it was still too early in the year to battle for dominance during the breeding season. Instead, they said they believed the bears could have battled over a food source, considering each animal's size.

Officials also said people should remember to stay safe if they see bears. People should stay at least 50 yards away from bears, and should never feed them. They should also take steps to keep food away from bears, such as by securing birdfeeders and never leaving snacks outside.

Black Bear Brawl! BJ and Micah Campbell had ringside seats to a tussle between two large black bears near Ely's Mill in Gatlinburg. This video was captured while the Campbell’s were safe inside a garage but shows how strong and aggressive these magnificent creatures can be. While it’s a little bit early for bears to engage in battle for dominance during breeding season, we believe it may have been a dispute over a food source considering the size of both animals.  #tnwildlife #blackbears #bearwise #watchablewildlifewednesday

Posted by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency on Wednesday, April 27, 2022