The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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June 19, 2014

Wandering bear creating stir in northern Illinois

MOUNT MORRIS, Ill. — Wildlife officials are urging people to stay away from a young black bear who's been spotted more than a dozen times as he wanders through northwestern Illinois.

They issued fresh pleas on Wednesday after dozens of people flocked to an oak tree near Mount Morris, where the bear took refuge after ambling through town.

Wildlife officials say the ogling and photographing could stress the young bruin, who likely wandered into Illinois after being pushed out of his home territory by other bears.

Department of Natural Resources spokesman Chris Young tells Sauk Valley Media that the youngster's best chance of survival is to be left alone so he can find his way back to his natural habitat.

There are no plans to trap and move him unless he becomes aggressive.

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