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Black bear captured after 1 week wandering through central Louisiana town

WINNFIELD, La. (AP) — A black bear that spent a week wandering through a central Louisiana town has been captured.

A state wildlife agent tranquilized and tagged the bear Friday after the 350-pound male climbed down from a tree and up to a back porch in Winnfield.

“It’s not something you want to hear — there’s a bear in your house,” Matt Walton, whose porch it was, told KNOE-TV . But the critter didn’t get in.

“He’s under control and he’ll be transported out,” Winn Parish Sheriff Cranford Jordan said. “He didn’t get hurt, and nobody else got hurt besides a deer feeder and a bird feeder.”

The bear had spent a week roaming around town, including stops at the library, a park, the courthouse and the sheriff’s lawn.

“I’m sure he was just walking, and they don’t have a map, and they don’t have GPS,” Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries large carnivore expert Maria Davidson said. “He didn’t know Winnfield lay in his path of travel. And, as he moved through Winnfield, he just kind of got bottle-necked and couldn’t get out.”

Jordan told the News-Star he had to cordon off six blocks downtown while the bear was ambling about.

Before it was tranquilized, he told the newspaper, “He’s all over town. We’ve never had a bear in the city of Winnfield before and a lot of people are scared to death.”

Walton said, “I’m just kind of happy it’s over. We know that they’re generally a gentle animal, but just having them in town probably is not a good thing.”