Firefighter encounters bear roaming Wausau - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Firefighter encounters bear roaming Wausau

WAUSAU (WAOW) - What started out as a normal day for Wausau firefighter Matt Brockman turned into a close encounter with a furry friend Saturday. A black bear was walking down Seymour Street and went toward the fire department, and he has it all on video.

"Well I was riding my bike into work like I usually do," said Brockman. "The bear was standing right in the middle of the road. It came in and cut through the parking lot and then it came right down to the sidewalk."

Brockman says it went to a door near the police department, then turned around.

"I'm guessing he was looking for doughnuts," said Brockman.

The bear went all the way to the Marathon County Jail. Brockman says the bear isn't something he sees every day.

"I was definitely surprised,” said Brockman. “I slammed on the breaks and quickly grabbed my phone out, you know how often do you get to see a bear in the city."

A warden with the Department of Natural Resources agrees.

"We have had them downtown in Wausau before but you know it's not a usual occurrence," said Ben Herzfeldt, a conservation with the DNR.

He says this is the time of year people may spot bears.

"The springtime tends to be the time of the year when not a lot of food is available for them yet because plants haven't had the time to grow,” said Herzfeldt. “So they're looking for food."

Brockman says he's just glad the bear wasn't looking for him.

The conservation warden says the DNR took the bear to its Rib Mountain base. They released it back into the forest near the Town of Hewitt.

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