UPDATE: DNR Clarifies QC Bear Captured “Internet Rumor”
UPDATE: We spoke with Jeff Harrison with Scott Count DNR who told us that an out of hand internet rumor caused the public to believe the bear was captured and relocated last night.
The bear was not captured last night, and is still wandering the countryside. The bear made its way to a creek last night where it was able to find a place to rest for the night.
He explained why the rumors spread that the bear had been relocated, saying "We had everything set up to tranquilize him and place him on a horse trailer it to take him to the Yellow River State Forrest, word got out that things were ready and the rumors ran wild from there."
DNR had about 3.5 hours worth of sedation prepared for the bear, to ensure they could get it loaded up and moved to where they needed to.
Jeff issued a warning to the public, saying "If it reaches I-80 we would have to euthanize the animal, and that would be the fault of the people corralling it. The people jeopardized that bears life."
"If you see that bear today, leave it alone. You can snap a picture and keep moving, but as soon as you stop, other people stop. Today, onlookers will be met by law enforcement. If you’re stopped on the highway today, you’ll get a citation. If you’re not wearing your seatbelt, you’re getting a citation."
The public didn't just endanger the bears life, but also their own,
“Kids are walking across these fields in flip flops from 30 yards. They can’t run long distances, but some people have said a bear can charge 30-50 yards at about 30 miles an hour. We had kids not paying attention crossing the road nearly getting struck by another observer who was watching the bear and not the road. Things can go really bad really quick.”
Original: Yesterday's excitement in the QC was a black bear sighting near DeWitt, and it drew hundreds of people out to search for him. The little guy was first sighted up in Clinton County on Monday, and by Tuesday he'd made it all the way down to Eldridge. The DNR thought the furry dude came from the Minnesota-Wisconsin area, and was looking for a new place to call home. Once word got out that he was off LeClaire Road just west of Eldridge, people showed up from all over the Quad Cities to watch him.
Between getting closer to Davenport and the number of people trying to get close to him, the Iowa DNR determined that it was best to relocate him back to where he came.
Last night around 10:30 PM, the DNR was able to sedate and relocate the bear, back to where they believe it came.
When he was captured, he was too close to I-80 for comfort, up near Farm and Fleet in Davenport at the sod farm.
Good luck, Bruno.