Mid-South black bear captured in Lakeland - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mid-South black bear captured in Lakeland

(WMC-TV) - First spotted weeks ago in Alabama, the black bear who apparently traveled through Alcorn County, Mississippi and Fayette County, Tennessee, was captured by Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agents in Lakeland early Wednesday morning.

Shelby County sheriff's deputies were eating at Taco Bell in Lakeland when they spotted the bear.

It's unclear exactly how close the bear was to the restaurant, but the deputies followed him to a home in the 3200 block of Creekwood Lane.

Robert Laurie said he was awakened when the deputies knocked on his door, saying to stay in the house. Laurie and his family watched the rest of the incident unfold through a kitchen window.

"They were trying to lure it down," he said. "We watched inside from the kitchen. They told us to go inside cause they were going to try to get it down."

Laurie said the deputies, "kept talking to it trying to lure it down, and eventually they had to shoot it with a tranquilizer."

"They called him Yogi, but when he came down they called him BooBoo," Ratana Tith said. "I don't know why. I guess cause he bumped his head when he came down."

According to Wildlife Agents the bear is a young boy, weighing about 150 pounds.

The bear was taken to the Memphis Zoo for observation.  Eventually, authorities plan to take it to the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee, where it can roam free.

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