A small black bear that was seen running around downtown Chattanooga Saturday evening was shot dead by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency out of concerns for public safety, according to officials.
The bear had previously been tagged, meaning it had been near humans or interacted with humans before, TWRA spokesperson Mime Barnes said.
"Due to the health and stress of the bear and more importantly, public safety, this bear was euthanized," Barnes said in an email. "It's not an easy job for officers and not their outcome of choice. They are trained in a decision making process and to put public safety first."
The bear gained public attention on social media, including Instagram and Twitter.
Why is there a black bear loose in downtown Chattanooga? pic.twitter.com/1q5wrlBw7f— Scott (@NoogaDawg) September 26, 2020