This Bear Gets Around...
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Local businesses visited; woman chased
Bear Finds Way to Downtown
Police, Fire, Animal Control Units Respond
Yourtown---- (NOTICE: Any names of towns, locations, people, institutions, etc., used in these sample fake newspaper stories, are purely fictional, chosen at random, and are not meant to portray or represent any real person, place or deed. Remember that no matter what name a writer chooses to use in any fictional story, there is a real person (or many persons) SOMEWHERE who have that exact name.)
A young bear found its way into the downtown area early this morning, and was cornered by law enforcement and animal control officials between Wall and Vine streets, on 4th Avenue.
"The animal just wandered around looking at things," commented a county animal control executive. Apparently the bear was observed shaking locked doors in the area, and using his considerable weight to try to push the doors inward.
"It's highly unusual for a bear to make it all the way into inhabited areas like this," said another animal control employee. "Of course there are bears outside of town, but I can't see this animal making it all the way over here unnoticed. Someone would have called it in. Still," he continued, "this is the Northwest."
No zoo in the area reported any missing animals, and animal control personnel suggested that the bear appeared to have been living in the wild, as opposed to having come from a zoo.
One woman, unaware of the bear's presence, came out of a shop along 4th Ave. and came almost face to face with the animal.
Said Arlene Richardson, "It took a long time for it to register. I thought at first I was seeing things. Then I thought it was someone in a bear costume. Then the police started yelling at me to go back inside, and I realized it was really there. I don't know why I did it. I suppose I panicked. But I just started running."
And the bear followed-at least as far as Vine St., where SPD officers jumped in between Ms. Richardson and her pursuer, and turned the animal back.
Shortly after that, police set up a perimeter while animal control distracted the animal long enough for a zoo veterinarian to dart it. The bear did not immediately 'go to sleep' however, and spectators were kept out of the area until it was cleared sometime after 7 a.m..
"We try to never be surprised," said one man from animal control. "But sometimes we are."
The bear was loaded into a truck, given a complete physical, and taken to an undisclosed location.
"This bear won't have to be put down," said Earl Wenker, an associate at the Zoo. "He maintained his manners and didn't eat anybody, though, perhaps, not for lack of trying. I think he was just curious---and maybe hungry. He'll be introduced back into the wild."
Residents and business owners should sleep a little better tonight, knowing that.
See WILD ANIMALS Page D-5
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