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Wildlife officials urge caution as bears, cougars, Gators fans migrate to Tennessee

Nashville, TN - Tennessee Wildlife officials are warning to citizens to use caution as bears, cougars, and Gators fans migrate to the Volunteer State in record numbers.

Over the last year, reports of Gators fans alone have increased by over 28.3%.

"I caught one of them rummaging around my backyard looking for food. He's lucky I didn't have my gun," said Jim Arnold, who owns a farm near the Tennessee-Georgia border.

So far, nearly all the sightings have been near Chattanooga, but one Murfreesboro man says he saw one in a local Walmart parking lot.

"I saw one right over there, sitting in a pickup truck. I didn't get the plate numbers, but they were definitely Florida plates."

Officials urge the public not to feed them or they'll stick around.

Photo credit: H. Michael Miley via Flickr

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