Black bear buzz in Ridgway Iowa - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Black bear buzz in Ridgway Iowa

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RIDGEWAY, Iowa (KTTC) -- Canada of course, Duluth sure, but Ridgeway, Iowa?   It's not exactly the place you expect to see a black bear.  And no, it wasn't caught on a hunter's trail camera, town folks got to witness the animal first hand.

In a small town of three hundred it's easy to notice when a visitor comes to town.  And this guy... really got noticed!  It all happened when Allyn Linderbaum was out doing chores.  "(I) Finished up the corn and the beans, the weather is good so I started mowing hay," said Linderbaum.

And that's when he saw the bear crossing a nearby field.  "And then I called a friend of mine to come out and see what he could see," he said.

Linderbaum says he called his friend, more or less, for proof.  "Well then he said 'I'm going to see how close I can get' and I said ' well get a picture so people don't think I've been drinking when I told you I saw a bear."

Of course it was met with some skepticism. A bear? In Ridgeway? The news spread quickly.  It didn't take long for the bear to create a small group of spectators all hoping to catch a glimpse.

"I'll have to say that this bear is bigger than any bear that we've ever sighted up in Canada," said Ridgeway Resident Terry Hovden.  Hovden was able to grab his camera a snap some photos. "And when he got to the top of the hill on that horizon you could really get a good silhouette of him," he said.

The photos have been circulating through emails around town and especially the workplace. "We've had a lot of people we haven't gotten anything done at all. So between the phone calls and the people stopping, we've been pretty busy," said Charis Hovden of Hovden Oil.

Busy because this visitor made a lasting impression.

Linderbaum mentioned, instead of the weather, this is what people have been talking about and he compares it to the moose of 1996.

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