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Bear Caught, Relocated in Southwest Arkansas

SEVIER COUNTY, Ark. (KTAL) - Wildlife officials have captured a bear that had apparently become a little too comfortable in a Southwest Arkansas community. The young bear was relocated Wednesday night.

The animal had been hanging around a community in Little River County. Residents captured video of him and posted it to social media.  

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) Biologist Eley Talley happened to be setting a trap for the bear Wednesday evening when the young male was spotted.  

"We received a call from a nearby resident that the bear was actually in her yard," he says.

Talley tranquilized the bear and moved him to the Pond Creek National Wildlife Refuge. The area's 27-thousand acres cover portions of Sevier and Little River counties.  

"This bear was either really bold, or he was really ... had been accustomed to being around people. He wasn't as scared and as flighty as some bears that we deal with," Talley continues. 

The AGFC has received several black bear calls this Spring. They say as the bear populations grow, they're expanding into new areas. Agents urge residents not to feed them so they'll move on.  

"Cleaning up bird feeders or corn feeders, other food sources, dog food," Talley suggests.  

"That steak you throw out, you start looking like a big steak to the bear after a while, and we don't want that," adds Jeff Cummings, Pond Creek National Wildlife Refuge Officer. 

This is the second bear that agents have relocated this Spring. Their goal is to release them into habitat where they can just be bears.  

"The hope is that that the bear will establish a home range here and live happily ever after," says Talley.

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