In a post on TikTok, the social media app and video-sharing platform, a woman is seen feeding a bear on a porch. Officials with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said that actions like this can be dangerous.
In the video, the woman feeds the bear a piece of watermelon and various other kinds of food. At one point, it gets close enough to sniff the camera. TikTok put a warning on the video that tells viewers the action in it can lead to serious injuries.
“For decades, we’ve associated bears with something soft and cute and cuddly,” Matt Cameron said, from TWRA. “They are beautiful, fascinating animals. But at the same time, they are wild animals with very powerful jaws, with big muscles and with claws. They can hurt you, you know there have been people killed by black bears.”
Officials with the National Park Service said that bears that are fed human food over time may become bold or aggressive in their attempts to obtain human food and become a threat to public safety.
They said that people should make sure their food is properly stored if they’re in an area where bears are known to live and reminded people not to feed wildlife.