TWRA issues permit for Elizabethton apartment complex to kill bears

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ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL)- An Elizabethton apartment complex received official permission from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to kill bears that have been wandering the property.

Last week, TWRA officials issued that permit to the Lynnwood and Lynnridge Apartments.

The permit allows property management to shoot two of the bears that walk around the complex during the day and dig through trash disposals.

However, the rental company for the complex said they will not shoot any bears and hope to find a non-lethal solution.

We received the following statement from LHP Spokesperson, Amy Styles:

” The safety and security of our residents is paramount, but we do not believe that shooting the bear(s) is the solution. It is not a safe practice at a family apartment property, and it is not humane treatment of the animal.

We hope that there can be a nonlethal resolution to the problem. We’re consulting with our waste management service for recommendations on improved bear-proof receptables. Meanwhile, we’ve added additional latches on all waste receptacles at the property and posted signage reminding residents to deposit trash inside the dumpster and to securely latch the doors shut. We hope the bears will realize there is no food available here and they will move on their own. If not, we’ll contact TWRA to humanely remove the bears.”

Amy Styles, LHP Spokesperson

Lynnridge residents like Betty Connor also don’t want any harm to come to the bears, but they fear for their children’s safety. Connor said she and many other parents in the complex have stopped allowing their kids to play outside.

“It’s a safety concern and there’s plenty of kids out here that can’t even play like I said, because of the bears,” Connor said. “We’re afraid to let them out because we’re afraid that either the cubs are going to get them, or [their] mom’s going to come out and get them.”​

Matthew Cameron of the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency says a growing black bear population in the region means people need to learn how to be safe around the animals.

“We’re begging people to live responsibly with black bears,” Cameron said. “And the first part of that is to never feed or approach one.”

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