Bear Cub Spotted at Pocola Shopping Center

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Pocola residents report a bear cub sighting in the small Oklahoma town Monday.

“I said awww no, that’s not a dog. That’s a bear,” said Bobby Goodwin, an eyewitness.

“He just ran right through the parking lot,” said Stephanie Summers, an eyewitness.

Shawn Richison sent in these pictures. He says he was at work at Anglen Crane on North Pocola Blvd when he spotted the bear crossing from the direction of the Sonic on the south side of Highway 112.

Residents say the bear started at Sonic then stopped at a tanning salon. “When he got to the window he could see his reflection,” said Richison, “He was standing up looking at himself.”

Goodwin showed non-believers a muddy paw print still on the door Tuesday. He said, “They don’t know whether to believe it. Well, I didn’t either ‘til I saw it. The bear you know, you gotta see it firsthand.”

Goodwin watched the bear cub cross Highway 112 and head for the woods. He said, “That sucker went across five lanes of traffic. No breaking. No honking. No you know raising H-E-L-L.”

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation says the bear was probably hungry and just looking for a free meal. “A good meal’s hard to find,” said Goodwin, “I’d say he’ll be back.”

If residents did not see the bear, they heard about it. “He was just cruising right along like nothing bothered him,” said Summers.

A quick visit turned into a lasting memory. “I’ve been around here a lifetime and I thought well Goodwin now you’ve seen it all. A bear in downtown Pocola,” said Goodwin.

The Pocola Police Department confirmed they got several phone calls about the bear. When officers arrived the department says the bear was already gone.

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