Bear on Campus Graphic

A small black bear reportedly chased a University of Montana student and a pedestrian Friday morning on Mansfield Avenue two blocks away from UM’s campus.

Three Missoula Police Department officers responded to a report of a bear in the neighborhood at 7:30 a.m. They successfully pushed the bear back onto Mount Sentinel, but only after it apparently chased UM student Sean Staples and one other pedestrian.

“I peddled past a guy that said ‘I just got told that a bear is here,’” Staples said. “About 15 seconds later, I look back and the bear is running full speed straight towards me, and then it veers off and goes after the guy who was walking.”

According to Staples, a police car promptly swerved around the street corner and chased the bear into a nearby alley.

“It was probably 30 yards from me, but it got five or ten yards away from the other guy,” Staples said. “I thought it was really going to attack that guy, honestly, but the other guy seemed calm and didn’t run.”

Officers pushed the bear back into the mountains, according to Lydia Arnold, a Public Information Officer with the MPD.

Arnold said MPD didn’t receive any reports of the bear chasing anyone. MPD did not advise the release of a UM public safety alert due to successful efforts to push the bear back into the mountains.

MPD observed no injuries in the incident, and Arnold said the bear is no longer within city limits or an active threat.