UPDATE 6/16/08 5:50 p.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A pesky black bear seen roaming West Knoxville is headed back to the forest.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency captured the adult male bear around 3:15 Monday afternoon.
It happened in a West Hills neighborhood.
Yogi Bear might be smarter than the average bear, but he might not be the only one. This bear also may qualify.
The TWRA has been following him since Saturday. He gave them the slip multiple times, including once earlier in the day Monday.
Officers finally nabbed him at a home along Portsmouth Road in West Knoxville. That's just off Kingston Pike.
Officers say a neighbor called them after spotting the 225 pound bear around 2:45. They found the bear crossing a driveway.
Officers followed him about a half-mile before they were able to take cover and tranquilize him in the backyard of a nearby home.
Officers believe this is the same black bear spotted in Oak Ridge about week earlier.
TWRA mapped his path from Oak Ridge, to North Knoxville, then into the west side.
In all, the bear traveled more than 35 miles
Officers say that's not unusual since it's mating season, and he also was looking for food.
He'd snacked on dog food and bird food throughout his travels.
TWRA officer Roy Smith says, "Obviously he's a bear. He’s a dangerous animal. They’re also very timid animals. They want to avoid-- that's why it's so hard to dart these animals. If he was aggressive, the first day I saw him he would've came [sic] right to me, but because they're shy, he got out of dodge."
TWRA transported the bear to the South Cherokee National Forest.
UPDATE 6/16/08 3:35 p.m.: A renegade bear roaming Knox County has been tranquilized and captured in the area of Buckingham Dr. in West Hills near a Knoxville Fire Station.
First on VolunteerTV.com:
KNOXVILLE (WVLT) -- Police and wildlife officials spent a good portion of the weekend tracking a renegade black bear across West Knoxville.
By Sunday evening, several witnesses placed him in the Amherst Road area
Greg Lingle spotted the bear in his back yard around 3:00 PM on Sunday. According to the Windtree Lane resident, he heard noises at his bird feeder and when he checked, the large creature had pulled down the device and was snacking on the sunflower seeds inside.
About 30 minutes after he arrived, the bears pursuers arrived on the scene.
“They tried to shoot him with a tranquilizer,” Lingle said. “Fortunately it didn't work and he scurried off into the woods. The TWRA put in a gallant effort in chasing him through the heat."
The bear is described as weighing 250 to 300 pounds.
TWRA crews have set up traps, but as of Sunday night, he had continued to give them the slip.
If you see the bear, call police or wildlife officials immediately.
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