More than 1 million people visit Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains every year, and most of them expect to see wildlife in the woods and parks. One group, however, didn’t have to go anywhere. A group of local black bears came right to their hotel.
Pools and Mountain Views
The Jefferson County High School Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) wanted to celebrate the end of the school year. The group rented a cabin at Chalet Village in Gatlinburg.
Chalet Village provides rental cabins in the Smoky Mountains. These cabins are known for their amazing mountain views. The Jefferson County group rented a cabin that overlooked a huge pool area with three pools.
Some Local Black Bears Came To Visit
Black bears are common in the Smoky Mountains. As the visitors watched, a whole family of black bears strolled into the pool area.
The group included adults and cubs. They swam, splashed around and enjoyed the sunshine.
Making the News
Michelle Johnson was one of the adults on the JROTC trip. In a Facebook post, she said there were seven bears.
Chalet Village employees had never seen so many bears appear at one time.
Johnson’s video of the event made local and national news.
Living Their Best Bear Life
This is not the first time black bears have enjoyed the resort life in Tennessee.
Last year, a vacationer in the Smoky Mountains filmed a black bear getting into the vacationer’s Jacuzzi and enjoying a steaming soak. In 2019, a Tennessee family watched a black bear climb into the family’s hot tub.
Wildlife officials remind you to enjoy the bears from a distance. Don’t feed them, and don’t try to chase them away. When they’re finished swimming or soaking, they’ll be on their way.
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