Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Officer shoots bear in downtown Hurley

HURLEY — It wasn’t a big bear, but it sure caused a lot of commotion.

A black bear was shot and killed in downtown Hurley on Friday afternoon. It was apparently the same bear that had stolen corn from Krist Oil in an early Tuesday morning caper and had made some dashes down Silver Street in broad daylight.

A dispatcher at the Iron County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Friday evening that detective Paul Samardich had shot the bear, which was too close to humans for comfort.

There was reportedly concern that the bear might get too close to children and pets.

A bear ripped open deer corn bags around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Krist station on U.S. 51 in Hurley, captured on film by Mike Lotzer, who was driving to work.

After that, the bear became more brazen and raced down the sidewalks in the middle of the day.

Hurley police then received a complaint regarding a bear on the sidewalk on Silver Street that had been digging through the Dumpster behind a Silver Street tavern at 1:32 p.m. on Tuesday.

It was not known if it is the same bear that was seen at the loading dock at the Super One grocery store in Ironwood on Thursday afternoon.

A bear took a nap in a Dumpster there before becoming startled and running into a wooded area.

Bears usually don’t range far, but it’s possible the animal made use of the new walking trail to get back and forth between the twin cities.

It’s more common for bears to visit the Hurley and Ironwood downtown areas in the spring, when they wake up hungry from longer winters’ naps.

—Ralph Ansami

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