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Virginia woman charged for feeding black bear in Tennessee

Bear kills dog in Shenandoah National Park
Posted at 4:57 PM, Oct 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-18 17:01:18-04

GATLINBURG, Tenn. -- Wildlife officers say a Virginia woman has been charged after they say she fed a black bear while on vacation in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Association said Friday that a video posted on social media showed 21-year-old Kristin Hailee Farris hand-feeding what appeared to be watermelon, chocolate and other items to a black bear in Gatlinburg, Tennessee on Sept. 30.

According to news reports, officers say Farris faces a Class B misdemeanor, which can result up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.

TWRA says regulations have been in place since 2000 that prohibit feeding bears or leaving food in garbage cans that could attract bears within a six mile (9.6 kilometer) radius of Gatlinburg.