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Down in the dumps: Dumpster-diving black bear hitches ride to waste center

Black bear

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A hungry, dumpster-diving black bear got a free ride to an East Tennessee trash center on Tuesday, wildlife officials said.

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According to Matthew Cameron, a wildlife information specialist with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the male bear had climbed into the commercial dumpster. That is when a trash truck picked up the dumpster and hauled it to the Waste Connections convenience center on Prosser Road in Knoxville, WBIR-TV reported.

“It climbed up into some rafters of a structure, and a TWRA wildlife officer was able to chemically mobilize it and relocate it to a wildlife management area,” Cameron told the television station.

Cameron said the bear was in good health and was not harmed, WVLT-TV reported.

Tennessee black bears are known as foragers who are adept at finding a quick meal, with their strong sense of smell helping them find food in garbage cans and even in dumpsters.

They are mobile animals and are content to travel for miles to search for food, according to WBIR.

And apparently, they do not mind hitching a ride on occasion to find a tasty meal.

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