Who isn’t eager to go into a candy shop?
Aunt Mahalia’s Candies in Gatlinburg can’t even keep the wildlife away. At least, that was the case last Thursday night, when a black bear dashed into the store.
No one was inside the store on the Parkway at the time. Employees were washing dishes in the back. Tina Aucker, one of the employees, heard screams from a crowd outside the store.
“I come walking around like this and there was a bear standing right there,” Aucker told WATE 6 News. “And I looked at it like this and I said, ‘Hang on one moment and I’ll be right back.’ I turned around, walked back to the door and yelled, ‘Amy, there’s a bear out here.'”
The bear was soon gone.
Employees believe the crowd outside the shop spooked the bear, prompting the animal to barrel inside.
Bill Stiver, a Great Smoky Mountains National Park wildlife biologist, told WATE that bears are busy this time of year finding various food sources and eating. They will soon start hibernating for winter.
Stiver advised people to keep their distance when they see a bear. Wildlife biologists emphasize that a bear’s behavior is unpredictable.
The whereabouts of the bear that visited the candy shop are unknown. The bear left behind a big paw print on the rug.
“I love bears but I don’t want to be that close to them,” Aucker said.