Bear wanders into Tahlequah neighborhood


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Updated: 5/09/2013 10:08 am Published: 5/08/2013 10:52 pm


Bear wanders into Tahlequah neighborhood

A small bear caused a big commotion near a local college campus.

Tahlequah police say they started receiving calls about a bear in a tree around 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Numerous agencies including the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, District 27 District Attorney's Office, Oklahoma Department of Wildfire and Tahlequah Fire Department were on scene working to get the bear out of the tree.

"I've been here 19 years and never heard of a bear being in Tahlequah," said Iona Masters. She was picking her grandson up from school when her neighborhood went on lockdown. Every corner near the tree was blocked off. The rare bear sighting also brought everyone out of their homes.

"I was finishing my college final when Jessie called me and said 'Bear,' and I said everybody wants to see a bear," said Allie Eake, an NSU student.

Cellphones from people all across the neighborhood captured the bear climbing up the tree.

"I'm amazed. I called my husband and said I didn't think we had bears in Oklahoma and he said, "Oh, yeah," said Masters.

She and her grandson were kept away from their home for an hour.

"The officers made us get out of the car and go to the corner. I'm thinking I'm safer in the car," Masters told FOX23's Dontaye Carter.

It gave her grandson a closer look at the bear.

"It was one of the coolest things I ever saw," said Kaleb Linny.

However, Masters had her worries.

"Everybody around me kept saying if that's the baby where's the momma?" She joked. "That's our immediate thought."

The small bear was tranquilized twice before falling into a safety net.
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife says they will take him back out into the wild and free him.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife says once cubs turn a year old the mothers send them out.

They say it appears this cub ran right into the city limits.


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