REDDING Calif. - Law enforcement officers had a busy day yesterday chasing a fully grown bear through the streets of Redding finally capturing it and releasing it back into the wild.
Imagine looking out the front windshield of a police cruiser and seeing the images taken bellow captured yesterday morning as a bear lead Redding police on a pursuit through the streets of Redding and onto the interstate.
The 300-pound bear was running in the areas of Cypress Street in Redding when CHP Sgt. Tim Hinkson got involved after it tried to make its way onto the interstate.
"Yesterday morning at about 6 a.m. we got a call from RPD and they advised us that they were pursuing a bear,” he said.
For law enforcement officials from the Redding Police Department to the sheriff’s office to the California Highway Patrol, they all worked together in an attempt to not only keep the bear safe but make sure the public was safe as well.
Captain Lee Ann Smith with Haven Humane society has dealt with these animals for a number of years.
"For law enforcement, it is [about] public safety. They want to make sure that people aren't coming out and being addressed by a fully grown 300lb bear,” Smith said.
This isn't the only bear that has had a close encounter with civilization last week a Chico dental office also got a visit from a different bear.
Captain Smith says it is during this time of year that bears venture closer to civilization to find food for hibernation.
"This is when they are building their fat reserve so there are doing a lot more hunting,” Smith said.
In Shasta County, the Carr, Delta, and Hirz fires have also forced bears and other wildlife as well into the city area after their natural habitat was destroyed.
"They are out and they are all over Igo Ono area and since we have had the fire I believe we are going to start seeing more of them in this area over the next few months,” Smith said.
After a day’s search late Monday night the bear was finally caught and released back into the wild.
As for officers they are still surprised by the whole experience with Sgt. Hinkson saying in part Dealt with some wild animals but nothing like a bear.
"We get deer dancing around on the freeway but yeah nothing like a bear,” Hinkson said.
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