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Officers: Woman charged for feeding black bear in Tennessee

Black Bear, photographed in Eastern North Carolina.
Black Bear, photographed in Eastern North Carolina.(Stan Lake | WITN)
Published: Oct. 17, 2020 at 3:47 PM EDT
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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) — Wildlife officers say a Virginia woman has been charged after they say she fed a black bear while on vacation in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Association said Friday that a video posted on social media showed 21-year-old Kristin Hailee Farris hand-feeding what appeared to be watermelon, chocolate and other items to a black bear in Gatlinburg, Tennessee on Sept. 30.

According to news reports, officers say Farris faces a Class B misdemeanor, which can result up to six months in jail and a $500 fine. TWRA says regulations have been in place since 2000 that prohibit feeding bears or leaving food in garbage cans that could attract bears within a six mile (9.6 kilometer) radius of Gatlinburg.

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