Be careful when driving in the Smokies: There are bears are out and about.
A woman was caught off guard Monday after a bear suddenly darted across the road and rammed into the side of her car as she was driving down the East Parkway.
The incident happened between Gatlinburg and Cosby and was caught on video.
The driver of the car, Brittany Ogle, said a family friend just happened to be recording the incident from his car. The bear was wandering on the side of the road near CLIMB Works Smoky Mountains when it suddenly darted across the parkway.
Unfortunately for both the bear and Ogle, Ogle's car was in its path when it slammed head-first into the side of the car.
The bear was knocked to the ground, but quickly got up and ran off.
Ogle's car had a bear-sized dent in it.
Ogle said she didn't realize the event had been recorded until she saw it on her Facebook feed, and the person who took the video turned out to be her family friend.
As for the bear, it appeared to be okay other than being momentarily stunned.
Lately, there have been numerous reports of bears darting across the roads. However, it's not unusual to see them around the roads and places people frequent in the Smokies.
The TWRA offers these tips for people living or vacationing in bear county:
- Never feed or approach bears.
- Do not store food, garbage or recyclables in areas accessible to bears.
- Remove bird feeders where bears are active.
- Feed outdoor pets a portion size that will be completely consumed during each meal and securely store pet foods.
- Keep grills and smokers clean and stored in a secure area when not in use.
- Talk to family and neighbors when bear activity is occurring in your area.