WATCH: Brawling Bears Caught On Camera Fighting On Tennessee Road
By Sarah Tate
May 2, 2022
Two black bears were caught fighting on the side of a road in East Tennessee.
Billie Jo and Micah Campbell were hanging out near Ely's Mill in Gatlinburg on Monday (April 25) when they noticed two black bears acting aggressively. They managed to record the fight as it escalated into a full-on brawl between the bears, with the animals snapping and pouncing on one another, per WATE.
The Campbells shared the video with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, who reposted the video on its official Facebook page to warn Smoky Mountains visitors of the dangers of wild bears. The post also speculated what the fight could have been about, suggesting it was a dispute over food.
"This video was captured while the Campbell's were safe inside a garage but shows how strong and aggressive these magnificent creatures can be," the post states. "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.
Check out the video here or watch below to see the brawling bears in action.
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 #watchablewildlifewednesdayPosted by Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency on Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Phil Colclough, Zoo Knoxville Director of Animal Care, Conservation & Education, agreed with TWRA's assessment that the fight was likely over food, the news outlet reports. He said that though the video may look shocking, it didn't seem "very violent" as the bears didn't bit or tear at each other much.
"A couple good educated guesses would be these are two animals that are just recently out of hibernation, potentially fighting over territory or resources. Food is pretty scarce right now, so they could be fighting over scarcity of food," Colclough said.
He added another potential reason for the brawl.
"Another possibility, the one on the ground looks like it could possibly be a female and the larger one looks like it could be a male and that could be female that's defending cubs," he said. "She may have some cubs kind of early right now and it very well could be just a defense maneuver around those cubs."
While the brawl makes for an exciting yet scary video, Colclough warns that anyone who witnesses a similar situation should keep their distance.
"You should always stay back from wildlife no matter what, especially if there's a volatile situation like this," he said. "You should be staying back anyway but with a volatile situation like this you ought to really pay attention to that rule."