VIDEO: East Tennessee bear frequently visits Sonic for ‘bare necessities’

Tennessee
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A bear in Kingsport has found himself a favorite restaurant for the ‘bare necessities’. 

Viewer Margaret Twardoski shared a photo with WJHL showing a bear peeking over the fence behind Sonic on Fort Henry Drive in Colonial Heights.

WJHL went to see the bear for themselves.

Workers at Sonic say he comes around so often, that they have actually named him “Carl.”  

Patrons at Sonic say the bear has been around for three to four days. So far he’s only been seen around the dumpster. 

News Channel 11 spoke with a customer that has seen Carl a few times. 

“It’s been coming every day. We’ve been videoing it on SnapChat and stuff like that.  It hasn’t been aggressive or anything, it just eats the food and chills. That’s about it,” said Taylor Morelock.  

Carl did put a little scare into a local daycare on Tuesday morning. Children and staff at Colonial Heights Baptist Childcare saw the bear off in the distance and went inside as a precaution, erring on the side of caution.  

The following is a statement from a spokesman from Sonic’s parent company SD Holdings: 

“With the recent arrival of the black bear at our location, we have gone through the necessary routes to inform the police, TWRA, and animal control of the situation. The safety of our guests and employees is of the highest importance to us and we want to ensure that the bear is handled in a humane way if relocation is necessary.  We have put procedures in place to ensure our guests are aware of the possibility of a bear sighting and that our employees are safe when performing tasks during work.  As recommended to us by the TWRA, we are working on getting a bear-proof dumpster for this location.”

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has been contacted. They suggested that Sonic get a bear-proof dumpster. 

So what should you do if you encounter a bear?  Click here for some tips from the TWRA. 

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