A four-legged surprise recently wandered into a small Louisiana city.
A black bear was spotted about a mile outside of Winnfield during the weekend of May 26-27, then made its way into town, according to Winn Parish Sheriff Cranford Jordan. There were several sightings of the bear in town over the past week.
Jordan says the bear weighed around 350 to 400 pounds. The bear climbed into a tree in a Winnfield resident's yard Thursday night and stayed there until morning. A specialist from the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries tranquilized the bear Friday afternoon, allowing it to be captured.
While the bear made its way into residents' yards and while there were several sightings throughout the week, the bear caused no major damage.
Jordan said it's the first time he can remember a bear within the city limits of Winnfield.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will relocate the bear to another area away from people.
Louisiana black bears can grow up to six feet in length, according to information from the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Adult males weigh between 200 and 450 pounds (but can weigh more), and adult females weigh between 120 and 200 pounds.
Louisiana supports bear populations in the Tensas River area in the northern part of the state, the upper Atchafalaya River Basin in central Louisiana, and the coastal population in the southern Atchafalaya River Basin. Black bears, particularly dispersing males, can be found anywhere in Louisiana.
For more information on bear safety, click HERE.
Louisiana black bears are usually non-aggressive, retreating animals that are harmless to people unless provoked or threatened. Harming a black bear is against Louisiana law.