Tennessee Black BearTN Wildlife Commission, Bear Hunting Magazine
Usually zoo officials have their hands full making sure animals do not escape from their habitats. But, earlier this week, those working at the Knoxville Zoo got to experience the opposite when a black bear scaled their perimeter fence in the middle of the night.
Zoo rangers initially saw the black bear roaming around Chilhowee Park before climbing the zoo's fence around midnight. After zoo staff confirmed it was not one of their four black bears, all of whom were still in their cages, they began a sweep of the property searching for their surprise guest.
The staff was both concerned for the safety of the other animals at the zoo and the visiting bear. After conducting multiple searches of their 53 acres and not finding the bear, they believe the bear made its way out of the zoo.
While wandering black bears are not uncommon in this part of the country, those at the zoo hope this is a one time only "bear break in."