Tourist busted for feeding black bear in viral TikTok video

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A Virginia woman was busted after she was seen in a viral TikTok video feeding a black bear in Tennessee while on vacation.

Kristin Hailee Farris, 21, of Danville, Virginia, was recorded hand-feeding what appeared to be watermelon, chocolate and other treats to the wild animal in Gatlinburg in late September, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Association said Friday.

Charges were filed against her for illegal black bear feeding in connection to the video, which has been viewed more than 500,000 times, news station WVLT reported.

Wildlife officials said regulations forbid people from feeding bears or leaving food in garbage cans in a manner that attracts them.

The rule applies to a six-mile radius around Gatlinburg and is intended to discourage the beasts from entering the city.

If convicted, she faces up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.

“The overwhelming desire to have a close encounter with a black bear is strangely more powerful than common sense,” said Sevier County Wildlife Sgt. David Sexton in a statement.

“Many people intentionally feed bears with little regard for the dire consequences to the bears and humans they leave behind.”

With Post wires

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