Police have confirmed a small black bear was cornered Tuesday morning in south Fulton.
Officers and agents with the Missouri Department of Conservation tracked the bear to the corner of Ravine and Ann streets.
“When I saw it coming down the road there, it scared me because I didn’t know,” Fulton resident Della Adams said. “But that bear was as scared of me as I was of him.”
The bear managed to escape into a wooded area nearby. It was last spotted about a quarter mile within city limits.
Animal control hit the bear twice with tranquilizer darts, before he retreated into the woods on the east side of town.
The bear was first spotted Sunday in downtown Fulton, and climbed up a tree. Authorities worked to get it down for about two hours to move it to the country, away from people and traffic. But when they tried tranquilizing it, it got away.
Missouri Department of Conservation Agent Bob Lyons said he thinks the young bear came from the southern part of the state.
“There are several bears, at higher numbers I should say, in southern Missouri,” Lyons said. “Right now the department is doing a study on the population of black bears in southern Missouri. The black bears actually filtered into Missouri from Arkansas.”
Lyons said black bear sightings are increasing in Missouri, especially this time of year when cubs are separating from the mother bears.
“The bear is not a danger to anyone unless you corner it or something like that,” Lyons said. “It’s a normal wild animal, if you corner it it’s going to go on the offensive because bears are really scared of humans.”
Lyons said if you see the bear, do not approach it or feed it. He also said it is a good idea to seal trash so it does not become dependent on humans.