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East Tennessee Outdoors… Outdoor News for September 16, 2020

 

BY DANNY BLEVINS

STAR CORRESPONDENT 

This year is moving along, and the nights are cooler, hinting of fall. We all know what comes next – winter.

Weather predictors are saying we will have a wetter than usual winter this year and that is not the best news in the world.

Heavy snow keeps most of us inside and puts an end to hunting, fishing, and hiking for a lot of us, at least for a few days. The best we can do is enjoy the mountains right now and have memories to fall back to when the snow is flying.

It has been a very strange week for outdoor news, but should we expect less during 2020?

Believe it or not, here is this week’s news.

TWRA Reports Tiger Spotted

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, a tiger was spotted in the suburbs of Knoxville. According to their report, an off-duty police officer spotted the animal and reported it to the authorities.

The Knox County police officer reported the tiger was not fully grown and appeared to be a cub.

A search was organized as multiple sightings came into the Knox County Sheriff’s Department.

Assisting in the search included the TWRA, the Knoxville Zoo, the Knoxville Sheriff’s Department, the Knox County Sheriff’s Department and Tiger Haven, a tiger sanctuary located in Kingston, Tennessee.

The Knoxville Zoo reported that all of their tigers were still in their enclosures, and Tiger Haven verified that all of their tigers were still at the sanctuary.

TWRA set a bear cage trap for the tiger using a whole chicken for bait but had no luck catching it and removed the trap after a couple of days.

Authorities are still investigating the sightings.

Big Cat Sighting

A “big cat” was sighted and videoed near Holston Middle School on Friday.

The cat, which appears to be either a tiger or a very large bobcat, was filmed near the school as the school’s football team was practicing.

The coaches canceled practice and sent the students home after the sighting.

The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department and TWRA are still investigating but believe it was a large bobcat.

Wallaby Missing

A wallaby named Wally owned by Daniel Sochalski was reported missing in Washington County, Tennessee. According to Sochalski, “Wally is very friendly unless he becomes agitated”.

After an extensive search by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, the wallaby was found and is back in its original enclosure.

Man Eaten by Black Bear

A body of a camper was found at primitive campsite 82 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. According to park authorities, the body had been scavenged upon by a black bear and the bear was euthanized.

Officials are not sure how the camper died and the incident is still under investigation by the park.

Primitive campsite 82 is closed until the investigation is over.

Woman Dies on Nolichucky River

A 62-year old woman died while rafting the Nolichucky River on Saturday.

According to USA Rafts, the woman died while rafting the Nolichucky Gorge section of the river.

CPR was administered while she was being evacuated by USA Rafts’ guides and by several private rafters who were also running the river. She was pronounced dead once she had been evacuated.

Bear Blocks Rollercoaster

A black bear and her cubs climbed across a mountain rollercoaster in Gatlinburg and forced it to be stopped.

The female bear and her two cubs climbed upon the Anakeesta coaster and would have been hit by individuals on the coaster had they not used their hand brake in time.

The video on the incident is online, and it appears the bear was in no hurry to leave.

Hope all of you have a good week and you stay safe.

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