Black Bear Captured in Tennessee to be Released in Eastern Arkansas

JUNE 29, 2006 - Posted at 4:29 p.m. CST

PARIS, TN - Tennessee wildlife officers today caught what could be one of two black bears seen wandering in west Tennessee after straying from Arkansas.

Authorities tranquilized a 140-pound female black bear with a collar and an ear tag.

A wildlife officer shot the bear with a dart gun after it was sighted in Paris several times in the last two days.

Wildlife officials received several sightings this month of a black bear wandering through northwest Tennessee, including Dyersburg and Martin.

Black bears are more commonly found in east Tennessee in the Cherokee National Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The bear was transported to the Memphis Zoo and eventually will be returned to its home in the White River area of Arkansas.

Officials believe that the bear they caught could have been accompanied by a smaller bear without a collar, possibly a cub.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)