North Carolina group aids in search for Juneau County bear

The search party to find an injured Juneau County black bear is getting bigger.
Published: May. 29, 2022 at 4:23 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The search party to find an injured Juneau County black bear is getting bigger.

A North Carolina-based group dedicated to helping save bears and bring awareness to the dangers of bear traps has joined in the search for the bear who was most recently sighted by a couple in Juneau County.

More than a week ago, the couple caught the bear on video with a game trap stuck on its paw.

The group Help Asheville Bears sent drone operator Stephan Pruitt to Wisconsin on Friday, May 27 to help assist Wisconsin wildlife officials in searching for the bear.

In a Facebook post, the organization wrote “The heroic drone operator from Asheville is leaving immediately to go to Wisconsin to help assist authorities in finding the bear with a trap on its leg! Last year, this hero used his drones to save a bear with a container on its head. We are very hopeful that he can find this bear and help authorities rescue it before it loses its limb. Last year HAB posted about a bear near Lansing, NC with the same type of trap on its limb that ended up losing the limb after a few weeks!”

Officials currently have a live trap placed in Juneau County, but after a few days, the bear still hasn’t been located.

“It hurts because I know what’s going to happen to this bear if it’s not found. We’ve seen this before. That’s why we need the community to come together and give us local sightings. If anyone sees this bear we need to know immediately,” Help Asheville Bears founder Jody Williams said.

The group is asking for anyone with any information about the location of the bear to contact them at 855-SOS-BEAR (855-767-2327) or email them at helpashevillebears@gmail.com, so that the drone operator can quickly move onto the scene and keep the bear in sight until officials can arrive.

“Getting our drone operator was top priority. We need fresh sightings to locate the bear,” Williams said.

Officials will need to catch and tranquilize the bear so they can then remove the trap and release the bear back into the wild.

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