Hotel guests in Gatlinburg caught feeding bear outside balcony

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Guests and employees at the Quality Inn Creekside in Gatlinburg say they see a bear almost every day around dusk, and they often get into the trash; however, this week, one bear didn't need to do much digging.

Pictures from a tourist captured some guests at the inn feeding a bear what looked like popcorn. The pictures show guests standing very close to the animal, using their phones.

"The bear came out and ate the popcorn and walked off and they were all taking pictures and just having a good time," Brent Jones, a Sevier County native, said.

Hotel employees told WVLT News that they have some signs warning visitors about bear activity, but they also warn people about them when they check in for their stay. The people who captured the pictures said they come here often and see a bear every time.

They said they are fed up with the tourists who they say keep causing problems.

"Well part of me just wants to walk up behind them and kick them into the bear and that'll be the end of it," Jones said. "But you can't do that."

Wild life officials remind people to properly lock up their trash. City employees said they've come across bears getting into trash now more than ever before, and they blame rental properties for not locking the garbage away properly.

Remember, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said, a fed bear is a dead bear.