Bear causes spectacle in downtown Landrum over weekend

Published 3:11 pm Monday, July 24, 2017

LANDRUM – On the hottest day of the month at 94 degrees, a bear spent a day and night in a tree in downtown Landrum, causing traffic delays and creating a spectacle as the public tried to see it and take photographs.

The bear was taken out of the tree by state and Landrum officials before 5 p.m. Saturday, July 22 after officials blocked off roads to try to keep the public out of the area.

Landrum police, fire and EMS along with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) worked all day Saturday attempting to get the bear to come down on its own.

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The bear came into the area Friday afternoon, July 21, and climbed a tree across from Wells Fargo on Rutherford Street.

“The bear is safely out of the tree is and is being relocated,” The Landrum Fire and Rescue Department announced just after 5 p.m. Saturday. “All roads have been reopened. Thanks for everyone’s patience.”

The bear sighting was posted on social media by several people, with most urging residents to stay away in fear for the bear’s safety.

Landrum and DNR officials were urging people on social media to stay away from the area.

“As many of you know, yesterday (Friday) a bear wandered into Landrum and after getting scared because of the attention he was generating, he climbed a tree and is still there because of the people continuing to come and take pictures,” stated a release from the Landrum Fire and Rescue District.

A natural resources officer told people to stay away from the area Saturday morning because the bear was likely scared, thirsty and hungry and would not come down if people were around.

The town blocked roads at Rutherford Street and Shamrock Avenue and at Rutherford Street and Bomar Avenue. 

The Landrum Police Department posted on social media on Friday night, July 21 that there had been a few bear sightings in the area and encouraged the public to report them.

“We would like the community’s help,” stated the Landrum Police Department’s release. “There have been a few bear sightings in the area. We would encourage you to be sure to report it. Remember, bears can be very dangerous. It is not a good idea to approach them (whether) on the ground or in a tree. We are understanding that if you leave them be most of the time they will return from where they came from. So remember, it is exciting to see them, but it is also very dangerous. So please stay clear from them and call to report where it is they are. Thanks for the help.”

There have also been several bear sightings in the Tryon and Polk County areas the last few weeks.