A Black Bear Was Spotted Casually Roaming Around a Motel in Tennessee

Andrea Romano

Where can a bear get some service around here?

A black bear was spotted roaming around an Econo Lodge Inn & Suites motel in Gatlinburg, Tennessee on Saturday, Oct. 26, according to WKRN.

Emily Miedema and her mother, who are from Indianapolis, were packing up their car in the parking lot when they saw the bear scrounging around only a few doors away from their room.

“I slowly walked across the sidewalk to my car, got in, and shortly after, the bear walked in front of us,” Miedema told WKRN. “He decided to walk upstairs, across the walkway, then to the other side.”

The video Miedema took shows the bear lurking on the second floor of the motel before heading down the steps to the ground floor. Maybe it was just looking for some fresh towels?

Even though it didn’t seem like the bear was particularly aggressive or after anything that Miedema and her mother had in their car, the two were still understandably shaken being so close to the wild animal. At the end of the video, the bear seemed to just saunter away from their vehicle, paying them no attention.

“My heart was racing and my hands were shaking,” Miedema told ABC News. “I definitely had adrenaline pumping for a while after that.” Luckily, Miedema and her mother kept calm and didn’t try to approach the animal.

Courtesy of Emily Miedema
Courtesy of Emily Miedema

Gatlinburg is actually well-known for its bear population and frankly unexpected bear sightings. Back in May, a man found his car being broken into by three black bear cubs while their mother lurked nearby. It seems like the bears in this neck of the woods are really into road trips.


The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency told ABC News that the bear population has increased immensely in the last few years. In addition to the bears, Gatlinburg is known for having more scarecrows than people.