OPELIKA, Ala.- Opelika Police say Wednesday’s events that involved a black bear in the town were unique, and they are glad that things went smoothly to ensure the bear’s safe return to the wilderness. They add there is no telling if it was the same bear from Chambers County.
Captain Shane Healey of the Opelika Police Department says there have been some bear sightings over the years, but adds this is the first one that got so close to downtown and densely residential areas.
Captain Healey says the department is lucky to have so many resources at their disposal if this type of event were to happen. Captain Healey says police were told to try and contain the bear, keep an eye on him and keep the crowd calm while crews took care of the bear.
“I guess you really don’t prepare for it,” Captain Healey said. “You have to adapt and overcome, and try to figure out the best course of action. Obviously the last thing we want to do is harm the bear, so you look to contain him, keep an eye on him until you can call in the resources that specialize in things like that; contact the game and fish folks or the people at Auburn University.”
Once the bear was captured, he was transported to a safe location where he was medically evaluated and watched before he went back into the wild.