Wildlife Officials Attempt to Capture Black Bear

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BEDFORD HEIGHTS, OHIO -- A small, wayward black bear caused quite the scene and turned into a sideshow of sorts in Bedford Heights Tuesday afternoon with a crowd of more than a hundred people.

"It's crazy. This bear is crazy. I don't know how he got here but it is crazy for the bear to be up there," Oscar Garcia said.

"I guess excitement for everybody. There's been a ton of people and it doesn't really happen here. It's cool," Becca Braun said.

It was totally uncool for wildlife officials.

People chased the bear, trying to snap photos, and crowded around the critter so wildlife officials couldn't do their job, they said.

"What are the tranquilizers for? It's been in there since 7:30--you wait until kids get out of school," said Lisa Chapman.

"He just wanted to get out of there," said State Wildlife Officer Jesse Janosik, "He was chased around a lot by many people."

Janosik said that with all the people around, tranquilizing the bear was too much of a liability.

"You could have a bear that's drugged running around too. And it's a liability with shooting it. It could hit a tree branch. It could go off, it could hit somebody else,” Janosik said.

So they tried other options.

At one point fire fighters on the ground turned the fire hose on and sprayed the tree limbs near the bear with water, trying to get it to come out of the tree.

Firefighters were acting on the advice of wildlife officials, Bedford Heights Fire Chief Ken Ledford said.

The bear doesn't budge--except to jump to another tree.

Eventually the young bear came down on its own, and made a run for it.

Wildlife officials said the bear ran south towards Tinker's Creek and hopefully back into the wild.

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