Family watches bear eat, drink Coke out of trash can while vacationing in Gatlinburg

Tri-State family shares bear encounter

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Cincinnati family visiting Gatlinburg, Tenn. had an unexpected visitor drop by their rental this week.

“I got out of the jacuzzi on the bottom deck and I was drying... I heard my dad upstairs on the top deck say ‘bear,’” Rob Debaun said.

A black bear made its way onto their vacation property - and into the trash cans.

“Everybody enjoyed seeing it. That’s one of the things they wanted to go pay to see, see the bears and we didn’t have to,” Debaun said.

The family has been vacationing in Gatlinburg, Tenn. for more than 15 years and told FOX19 NOW they’ve never had an encounter like this one.

The bear broke into their trash storage container and removed the cans. The family watched as the bear ate food and then washed it all down with a soda.

A Cincinnati family had a close encounter with a bear in Gatlinburg.
A Cincinnati family had a close encounter with a bear in Gatlinburg.

“He opened the Sprite, drank the Sprite and then he opened the Coke and he laid down on the ground and was drinking the Coke laying down on the ground,” Debaun said.

Gatlinburg officials said it’s important to bear-proof your trash and not leave any food laying around.

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