Two adult male black bears bright traffic to a standstill a few days ago when a brawl between the pair spilled out into the middle of a mountain road. The incident took place on August 4 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and was captured by driver Tom Haviland.
The fight, which you can watch below, lasted well over a minute as the two animals grappled. As USA Today FTW reports, the pair were likely posturing for dominance rather than genuinely trying to injure one another.
The Get Bear Smart Society, which aims to reduce the number of bears killed due to run-ins with humans and prevent conflict, explains that bears establish dominance by intimidating one another. They only truly fight if it's absolutely necessary, as doing so risks injury and therefore reduces chances of survival.
"It isn’t always size that makes one bear dominant over another, it’s the attitude of the dominant bear, or 'alpha', who is always in charge," the society says.
It's also possible that the animals may have been fighting over a food source. As fall draws closer, bears are beginning to seek out extra food in order to put on the fat that will sustain them throughout hibernation. Wildlife officials in Colorado warned residents and campers this week that the animals are likely to be more determined than usual to seek out a meal, and two campsites at Big Bend National Park in Texas have been closed due to hungry and "testy" animals searching for mesquite beans.
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.