Everyone wants to see a black bear during their visit to the Smokies. We have made it just this easy (and a whole lot safer)! The mural titled “Standing Strong” features an eight-foot-tall black bear posing perfectly for a friendly photo op.
Local artist Pinkie Mistry designed and painted the 12 by 12-foot mural over five days last October. Her inspiration, of course, comes from the imposing creature who inhabits the Smoky Mountains. Long have people revered the black bear. The Cherokee people saw the black bear as a spirit guide and resource for life. Today, we yearn for just a glimpse of the elusive, majestic creature.
Black bears are a treasure to our community and we all work together to ensure their safety and wellbeing. While seeing a wild black bear is exciting, we ask our visitors to exercise great caution and never approach a bear. And certainly don’t feed them! Once a wild bear becomes habituated to people and food, it can become aggressive and dangerous to humans. Help us protect our wild black bears. Learn more about what to do if you see a bear in the wild HERE on our website.
In the meantime, stop by the Black Bear Mural on the wall of Smith & Son Corner Kitchen on the corner of Parkway and Historic Nature Trail at traffic light #8. And when you post your picture on social media, tag us! #GatlinburgMural.