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Bear spotted, captured in southwest Arkansas

by Lori Dunn / Texarkana Gazette | May 23, 2019 at 12:30 p.m.
A young black bear, seen wandering around Hope Wednesday, awaits relocation after being captured by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists. - Contributed photo

HOPE, Ark. — A young black bear spent most of the day Wednesday in Hope before it was captured by wildlife officers.

"It was captured this afternoon in a live trap and will be relocated. We're going to find him a happy home. It's been quite a day," said Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologist Eley Talley late Wednesday.

Hope police and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists spent the day searching for the bear, which had been spotted in town several times. The bear, which officials said appeared to be a young black bear, was captured safely late Wednesday and will be relocated to a less populated area.

"We feel like it was same bear that came through near Texarkana last week. We have pretty consistent sighting reports from Cass County to Mandeville and Fulton," Talley said.

If it is the same bear, the animal has been on the move for about a month.

Earlier in the day, biologists were hoping to herd the bear out of town and into the woods. Police warned residents to keep children and pets inside after the bear was seen close to the railroad tracks between 16th and Sixth streets.

The bear was not acting aggressively, but police wanted the public to use caution, said Hope Assistant Police Chief Kim Tomlin.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the bear had moved west into the woods and biologists were hopeful it had moved out of town enough to cease pursuing it.

However, the bear returned and was captured in a wooded area in Hope.

There are about 6,000 bears in the state, according the the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

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