Bear on campus!
A black bear was cornered, tranquilized and captured on the University of Tennesee-Knoxville campus last Saturday. Area police and wildlife officials were alerted to the campus after student sightings went viral on social media.
Weighing in at over 100 pounds, the bear set up camp in a tree for about an hour before the Knoxville Police Department and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency began firing tranquilizer darts causing the drugged bear to tumble from its 20-foot perch, according to Knoxnews.com.
Prior to the bear’s capture, bear sighting exploded on social media as students and area residents sent out messages alerting others. UT students continued to poke at the bear online throughout Sunday.
However, students’ attempts at snatching an up close and personal peek at the bear were thwarted as police blocked off the surrounding area before sending the estimated two or three years-old bear to the Cherokee National Forest in a truck Monday morning.
While the bear sighting made for a strange Saturday evening for UT students, other colleges have had bears on campus this year. In April, the University of Colorado Boulder’s furry visitor attained viral Internet fame with a dramatic photo of the bear’s tranquilizer-induced freefall.
At the Ramapo College of New Jersey’s campus, two bear sightings were reported in March and May.
Wildlife officials also told the Associated Press bear sightings in Knoxville were not uncommon.
Check out the campus' reaction in this slideshow.