Woman faces jail time after feeding a bear in Tennessee, officials say

Video of alleged incident went viral on TikTok

Louise Hall
Wednesday 21 October 2020 18:48
Comments
A female Baribal American black bear
A female Baribal American black bear
Leer en Español

A woman from Virginia could face up to six months in jail after she was accused of intentionally feeding a black bear in Tennessee, Wildlife Officers say.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) said on Monday that Kristin Hailee Farris, 21, of Danville fed a bear what appeared to be watermelon, chocolate, and other food in Gatlinburg.

The 21-year-old was served a class B misdemeanor which carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and a $500 fine, according to the agency.

A recording of the alleged incident went viral on TikTok where it was viewed over 500,000 times. TikTok has since put a disclaimer on the clip warning that the “action in this video could result in serious injury.”

It is illegal to feed bears Gatlinburg under regulations published in 2000 that prohibit anyone from feeding a black bear or leaving food or garbage in a manner that attracts bears, according to TWRA.

“The overwhelming desire to have a close encounter with a black bear is strangely more powerful than common sense,” says Sevier Co Wildlife sergeant David Sexton.  

“Many people intentionally feed bears with little regard for the dire consequences to the bears and humans they leave behind.”

The regulations are intended to create a buffer zone to deter bears from going further into the city if they aren’t fed or can’t get into garbage, the agency said.

BearWise.com says that 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.  

The website warns that bears will defend themselves if a person gets too close, and urges residents not to risk their safety and the bears with such behaviour.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in