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TWRA hopeful roaming bear finds way to trap

April 11th, 2014 10:00 pm by Max Hrenda

TWRA hopeful roaming bear finds way to trap

The black bear is believed to have smashed the rear window out of this SUV, which belongs to Doug Hammitt of 921 N. North St. TWRA has set up a culvert trap in an effort to capture the bear. (Tony Duncan/Johnson City Press)

Authorities are hopeful that the installation of a bear trap onto a local street will result in peace-of-mind for that neighborhood’s residents.

On Friday, officers with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency set up a culvert trap in the area near Woodland Elementary School in west Johnson City.

Earlier this week, some of the area’s residents reported seeing what appeared to be a 400-pound black bear roaming the neighborhood and, in some cases, destroying property.

In response to the residents’ concerns, TWRA Wildlife Officer David Crum said he and his officers installed a bear trap in the hopes of wrangling the wayward bear.

“We set the trap up in the neighborhood in a good, safe location,” Crum said. “Hopefully, the bear will set up in it.”

The trap, known as a culvert trap, uses bait to lure the bear inside an enclosure — in this case, a barrel. Once a bear enters, it triggers a mechanism that causes a door to slide shut, locking the bear inside.

“It’s a standard bear trap, with the design coming from the (U.S.) National Park Service,” Crum said.

Though he said he heard no reports of any bear sightings on Friday, Crum expressed optimism that, eventually, the bear would be captured.

“I would say the bear is still in the area,” Crum said. “With as many calls as we’ve gotten over the last couple of weeks, I would dare say that we, hopefully, will be successful with the trap.”

If the trap proves successful, however, it remains to be seen what will be done with the bear once it is captured. Crum said that decision was pending on whether the bear is caught.

“Once the bear does get trapped,” he said, “then we’ll assess what goes from there.”

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