Home Breaking News Black bear making area rounds meets tragic ending

Black bear making area rounds meets tragic ending

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NOT THE BEAR. This image was provided by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commision and is not the bear mentioned here.

By Louie Graves

News-Leader staff

The existence of a young black bear which was photographed and seen in multiple places north and northeast of Nashville ended at about 6 p.m. Thursday when it climbed an electric pole and came in contact with the transformer.

Photos of the bear were shared on social media and the presence of the animal so near humans had quickly become a widespread topic of conversation.

Arkansas Game & Fish biologist Eley Talley measured the carcass. “It was a 125-lb. sub-adult male,” he told the newspaper.

“It was on a typical journey, roaming and looking for places to do bear things.”

After taking measurements for his animal biological records, Talley buried the carcass.

He said there had been a number of bear sightings, especially in the north of the Howard and Pike county area. This has been a “regular summer” for bears, he said.

Black bears have a range of about 10-15 miles daily.

The bear met its demise near the home of Jimmy and Ruth Steeley, which is in Hempstead County but only about a half-mile from the Bingen community where the bear had been sighted often. Lately the animal had also been seen near the Corinth and Chapel Hill areas north of Nashville.

When the electricity went out at the Steeley home, Jimmy — a Nashville city police patrolman — called the electric company to report the outage. The Steeleys drove along the road on their property and spotted the animal’s body on the ground near the base of the pole. “At first I thought it was just a black garbage bag,” Ruth says. “It wasn’t big.” They called G&FC Cpl. Keith Teague who put them in touch with officer Talley.

The biologist said that even though bear sightings had increased north of a line from De Queen through Murfreesboro, he didn’t think sightings south of the line would become the norm.

He asked that persons who see or have pictures of a female bear with cubs to contact him at eley.talley@agfc.ar.gov.