Anakeesta guest has close encounter with a family of bears in viral video

A screenshot of ricktock69's viral video.
A screenshot of ricktock69's viral video. The video shows a mama bear and her two cubs casually crossing the track as a single-rider slowly approaches

Disclosure: This site is sponsored by ads and affiliate programs. We may earn money from the companies mentioned in this post. As an Amazon Associate we may earn from qualifying purchases.

Anakeesta, located in Gatlinburg, Tenn., has been described as a “getaway from your getaway”.

This outdoor mountaintop experience features 70 acres of pristine forested land and is nestled in and above the heart of Downtown Gatlinburg. 

It is known for its scenic Chondala (chairlift), southern-style cuisine and sweeping views. 

But there’s one more feature Anakeesta is known for but only a few might ever be so lucky to experience it: black bear sightings. 

But last week, hopeful bear-spotters were in for a surprise when one particular mama bear and her two cubs got just a little too friendly with an Anakeesta guest on the Rail Runner attraction.  

Read Also: Anakeesta announces schedule, details for ‘Autumn at Anakeesta’ 2020

Video of the bear encounter goes viral on TikTok

Anakeesta’s Rail Runner attraction is a single-rail mountain coaster featuring a 1,600 foot track, a 400 ft elevation and speeds of up to 25 mph. 

Anakeesta's Rail Runner attraction is a single-rail mountain coaster featuring a 1,600 foot  track, a 400 ft elevation and speeds of up to 25 mph. 
Anakeesta’s Rail Runner attraction is a single-rail mountain coaster featuring a 1,600 foot track (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com

On Sunday, a TikTok video went viral, featuring unbelievable footage of a mama bear and her two cubs crossing the Rail Runner track as a rider approached. 

The video, featured below, has since racked up more than a million views. 

The video shows a mama bear and her two cubs casually crossing the track as a single-rider slowly approaches. 

Spectators are heard saying “How awesome would it be to be on that ride right now!” Another spectator comments “I would be freaking out!”

A spokesperson for Anakeesta, Michele Canney, told Knox News that while spotting a black bear in the park isn’t out of the ordinary, this behavior was unusually bold for the family of black bears.

“This is a new one to me,” Canney said. “It was something that was unanticipated and to see that happen was a little bit of a surprise.”

The rider was successfully able to narrowly avoid the black bears and no one was injured.

@ricktock69##gatlinburgtennessee ##blackbears ##anakeesta♬ original sound – ricktock69

Other bear sightings at Anakeesta

Both guests and Anakeesta crew alike regularly share pictures and footage of black bear sightings at the park, which have remained a staple since the park’s opening in 2017. 

Anakeesta shared this video of one of their “regulars”, featuring a mama bear affectionately known as “Ana” and her two cubs on Vimeo last month.

Anakeesta guest Mikee Nolan shared this an incredible shot of a baby bear crossing the highly trafficked mountain top entrance to Anakeesta with the Chondala loading station in the background earlier this year.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Sometimes, you just never know when a bear cub will wander right by you! Also, we just had some days open up next week. Book July 27-31 now! 🙌🏼 📷: Mikee Nolen

A post shared by Miles in the Sky (@milesintheskytn) on

It is however important to note, that while Anakeesta is an incredible location for bear spotting, as the National Park Service reminds us, it is important not to approach a black bear and not to let a black bear approach you whenever possible. 

“Being too close may promote aggressive behavior from the bear such as running toward you, making loud noises, or swatting the ground. The bear is demanding more space. Don’t run, but slowly back away, watching the bear. Increase the distance between you and the bear. The bear will probably do the same,” reads a notice on the NPS.gov website. 

“If your presence causes the bear to change its behavior (stops feeding, changes its travel direction, watches you, etc.) you are too close.”

Anakeesta is located at 576 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738. To learn more about Anakeesta or to purchase tickets, visit them online at Anakeesta.com.

Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at [email protected] for questions or comments.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*