A black bear was spotted in the northeast Iowa community of Edgewood on Wednesday afternoon. The bear had climbed up a tree at Woods Edge Golf Course along Highway 3. Myrna Niehaus was working at the golf course when the bear wandered onto the property shortly after the lunch hour.
Niehaus says, "Yes, we had a black bear and he’s up in a tree and I never saw so many people get congregated in all my life." Edgewood’s Chamber of Commerce director Elise Bergan saw the black bear running into town. Bergan says, "He was trotting right across the cornfield and heading to the old football field and then he ended up in a tree." She says the bear was good-sized.
She says the bear was "close to steer-sized" and may’ve weighed 200 pounds. Woods Edge Golf Course closed for the rest of the day as conservation officers and authorities stayed close to keep an eye on the bear. Witnesses said authorities let the bear leave the area on its own.
Black bears are not common in Iowa, though there have sightings earlier this week in Fayette, Allamakee and Winneshiek counties. Bears occasionally wander into the state, usually from Minnesota or Missouri.
The D.N.R. says black bears tend to stay away from people. Even though injuries from the animals are very rare, residents are reminded to keep their distance.