06/27/07 — Bear leads officials on city chase

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Bear leads officials on city chase

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on June 27, 2007 1:46 PM

He eluded Goldsboro police officers for hours -- taking in a stroll through H.V. Brown Park and into town.

But when a biologist from Raleigh arrived early Tuesday afternoon, the 300-pound black bear first spotted nearly 10 hours before was brought to its knees.

Goldsboro police Maj. Mike Hopper said the animal, which he believes made its way into Goldsboro from the Neuse River area, was tranquilized around 12:30 p.m. and transported to a wildlife sanctuary in Burgaw.

"That's about the last thing I thought I would be dealing with when I woke up and came to work, a bear," he said.

The first report of a bear on the loose came in around 3 a.m., when it was spotted roaming the 400 block of Carolina Street, Hopper added.

But the hunt for it did not begin until a few hours later, when the bear was seen in the neighborhood surrounding Whitfield Road.

"We were really hoping it was just going to wander back," Hopper said. "Then it ran into town."

No residents were injured by the bear, but Mayor Al King commended those who helped bring it in -- the firefighters, game warden, police officers and others.

"What's that thing the tough guys used to say? You know, 'If you ever see me in a fight with the bear, help the bear,'" he said. "That's not Al King. If you ever see me in a fight with a bear, help me man."