Black bear takes morning stroll through Ruston neighborhood

Black bear pictures courtesy Capt. Jim Hilton, Ruston Police Dept.
Black bear pictures courtesy Capt. Jim Hilton, Ruston Police Dept.

RUSTON, LA (KSLA) - A black bear took a stroll through Ruston Tuesday morning, causing a stir among police, hotel employees and homeowners.

The bear first showed up at 6:30 am at the Fairfield Inn on Roberta St., located near LA Hwy. 33 and I-20. Employees told police the bear was standing just outside the front door for a few minutes before wandering off. Police responded to the scene but couldn't find the animal.

About 35 minutes later, police got another bear call, this time from a motorist who said he almost hit the bear as it crossed Bernard Street near the railroad tracks. Animal Control officers responded with police, but the bear had again disappeared.

Minutes later, a woman at a home on Durden Street called police, stating the bear walked down her driveway and past her house. This time Animal Control officers and a Ruston officer spotted the bear in a wooded area near the railroad tracks. The Animal Control officer managed to hit the bear with a tranquillizer dart as it crossed onto property owned by the Louisiana Center for the Blind on E. Mississippi Ave. near Farmerville Hwy. Police said the tranquillizer dart had taken effect because they could tell the animal was getting groggy.

Police and Animal Control cornered the bear in a yard back on Durden Street, where he climbed a large oak tree.

About 20 minutes later, the bear climbed down from the tree. Agents with LA Wildlife and Fisheries told police to let the bear go. Police did not say which way the bear went. Wildlife and Fisheries agents will investigate where the animal came from.