GREENVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) - Police and the Department of Natural Resources continue to search for a bear that was spotted Sunday in a Greenville neighborhood.
The DNR estimated the bear was between 2 and 4 years old and about 150 or 170 pounds.
It first crawled up a tree near Coffren and Fourth streets and stayed there for about an hour.
"He clearly wasn't out to bother anybody," said neighbor Kevin Johnson, who sat on his roof to watch the bear. "He was pretty comfortable, too."
Greenville residents turned out to see the sight.
"There was so many people out here," said Johnson. "So many people. It was like there was a parade or something. It was just a silly bear."
24 Hour News 8 was told the DNR was preparing to safely remove the bear from the tree, but did not have any tranquilizers at the scene.
Once the tranquilizers arrived and before the DNR could shoot the bear, the animal crawled down the tree and ran into a nearby wooded area.
The bear was last seen on the southeast side of town, moving away from the downtown area.
One DNR worker said that in his mind, what happened was the best-case scenario. No one was hurt, the bear made it back to the wild and the DNR didn't have to use a tranquilizer, which is tough to do safely.
"This is not a real dangerous situation. People don't need to panic. It's probably going to happen again," said John Niewoonder of the DNR.
Niewoonder said though the bear is likely out of the neighborhood for good, there is a chance it could be back.
"He's still looking to find the best spot, and he's looking for some food," said Niewoonder. "If he found some food, and it was easy for him to get, he'll probably come back."
He recommended that residents keep an eye on trash cans, dumpsters and bird feeders.
"Black bears do not want to mess with you. They just want to find something to eat, and it's not you," Niewoonder said.
But Niewonder said the residents should not approach a bear if they see one.
"It's interesting to people, but they need to keep their distance and cooperate with law enforcement and DNR," said Niewoonder.
There are between 15,000 and 19,000 black bears in Michigan -- but only 10% live in the Lower Peninsula, and most live in the northern Lower Peninsula, according to the DNR.
If you have photos of the bear that you would like to share, send them to us via ReportIt.
24 Hour News 8's Tom Hillen and Ryan Takeo contributed to this story.
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