Zeno the Gatlinburg Bear

Zeno The Gatlinburg Bear® is the official name of the Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau’s television and print personality. Zeno The Gatlinburg Bear® first debuted to the traveling public in 2004, during the spring television campaign with his whimsical demeanor and catchy quip, “If you’re going to the mountains, it only makes sense to stay in the mountains.” Since that time, Gatlinburg’s signature costumed character has made appearances at numerous local events and often walks the streets of Gatlinburg to the delight of young and old alike. 

Zeno the Gatlinburg Bear was named after Zeno Wall, Jr., an icon of the Gatlinburg tourism industry until his death in 2001. Throughout his colorful career as Executive Director of the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce in the sixties, Zeno traveled throughout feeder markets to attend various travel shows and other settings to promote Gatlinburg tourism. In many cases, Zeno would don a bear costume to garner people’s attention, thus, tourism officials found it befitting that this new character should “bear” his name.

Keep your eyes peeled for television commercials starring this cuddly character.  Zeno can often be discovered throughout the year at Gatlinburg Events as well as sometimes walking the streets of downtown Gatlinburg and he’s always ready to try some street dancing and to take a photo with kids and adults alike.

Black Bears

Black bears are a common sight in Gatlinburg. While they may seem cute and cuddly, it is important to remember that they are wild animals and should be treated with caution and respect. While black bears are a beloved symbol of the Great Smoky Mountains, it is important to remember that they are wild animals and should be treated as such. By respecting their space and following safety guidelines, you can enjoy observing these fascinating creatures while keeping both you and the bears safe. However, it is crucial to follow safety guidelines such as not approaching or feeding the bears. It is also important to properly store food and trash to avoid attracting bears to campsites or other areas where humans frequent. Learn more about Bear Facts and what to do and not do if you see a bear. 

Learn more about bears with Zeno the Gatlinburg Bear

There are over 1500 black bears in the Smoky Mountains. Zeno teaches you some important facts about bears and what to do and not to do if you encounter a bear.