Thursday, September 26th 2019, 4:39 pm - A newlywed couple in Gatlinburg, Tennessee had an unexpected guest make an appearance in their wedding photos over the weekend.
Cory and Sarina Brewer were taking photos after their Sunday wedding when a black bear found its way into the background.
The photographer watched as the bear started to walk down the aisle, and decided to include it in the shoot.
"Being scared didn't cross my mind. I just wanted the shot," Sarina told reporters via Storyful.
But when she stood up and the bear made a "huffing" sound, Sarina says she was "beyond scared."
The bear eventually walked away on its own, and the rest of the day went off without a hitch.
Fall is a busy time for bear activity, as they prepare to hunker down for the winter and are in search of easy-to-access food. The B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change recently told The Weather Network's Mia Gordon conservation officials are stepping up random checks to ensure homes -- and residents -- are practicing bear safety.
It's important people try their best to keep bears away -- and that's not just for residents.
It's beneficial to the bears as well.
According to Wild Safe BC, bears who become accustomed to human interaction (and food) don't take well to relocation, as they often fail to adapt to their new environment.
This can result in the bear starving to death or being killed by animals that are established in the area.
Bears who become too comfortable around humans pose a safety risk and often have to be destroyed.
Here are a few safety tips, courtesy of Wild Safe BC:
Minimize garbage smells: Bears have an exceptional sense of smell and can easily detect last night's leftovers in your trash.
Experts recommend keeping your garbage and compostables stored until collection day. Freezing or refrigerating things that have a strong odour can help.
Maintain fruit trees and berry bushes: Your home garden could become a buffet for a hungry bear, especially if fruit is left rotting on the ground.
Clear over-ripe fruits and berries from your trees and lawn to prevent an unwanted visitor.
Don't let your bird feeder be a bear-feeder: While some communities ban bird feeders during bear season.
Check with your local municipality to ensure you are following proper bylaws.
Keep your barbecue clean: Barbecues another way to attract hungry bears. You can minimize the risk of an encounter by keeping it clean and burning it for an extra five minutes after use to ensure smells are removed.
According to Wild Safe BC, bear activity accounts for approximately 20,000 calls to the Conservation Officer Service reporting line each year, and once bears become accustomed to easily accessible food sources, it can be difficult to return them to the wild -- or even get them to hibernate.