Scott County DNR 'disappointed' in people crowding, following bear

Published: Jun. 17, 2020 at 8:33 AM CDT
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Scott County conservation officer Jeff Harrison said he's angry and disappointed.

"If you're going to gather, I will take actions, as necessary, based on plain-view violations." Harrison is talking about writing people tickets as they stalk a stray bear seen in Clinton and Scott Counties in recent days.

While there are rumors the bear was captured Tuesday night, that's not the case. Harrison said the DNR responded as the bear got close to Interstate-80 and got him "turned north."

"We're trying to let nature take it's course," Harrison said.

But what's more concerning to Harrison than the bear are the hoards of people following him.

"I'm very disappointed in the people out there yesterday." Harrison said roughly 150 people were gathered taking photos and videos of the bear in a cornfield.

"Kids walking 30 feet from it with cell phones."

The DNR said, if the bear can't go back north on its own, people harassing him will "be the reason we may have to shoot it." Harrison said, above all, he has a duty to protect human life.

On Tuesday night, Harrison said the crowd had unintentionally directed the bear toward the highway. The DNR was able to get him turned around. The bear made its way to a creek and appeared to get some rest.