By: Erin Smith
Downtown Elizabethtown attracts many visitors throughout the year and Wednesday was no exception when an unexpected visitor arrived in the form of a roughly 250 pound black bear.
The bear was first reported to be on Pine Street in the vicinity of Johnson’s Funeral Service. The bear was first spotted by Broderick Kemp.
“This is my first time seeing a bear. I was sitting in my car and it came from behind me,” said Kemp.
Linda Johnson was on the telephone when she said she spotted the bear as it walked through the yard of the funeral home into a neighboring stand of trees.
The Elizabethtown Police and Bladen County Sheriff’s Office both patrolled the immediate vicinity in an attempt to locate the bear.
Members of the Elizabethtown Fire Department also assisted in the search by utilizing thermal imaging cameras and searched the woods and thickets. The firefighters were able to locate the bear as it tried to hide itself in a thicket behind a neighboring home on Martin Luther King Drive. The bear appeared to be injured and had a limp.
Law enforcement officers kept a watch of the wood line along King Street and Martin Luther King Streets for any sign of the bear.
A wildlife biologist was contacted regarding the matter.