UPDATED -- the bear has come down and returned to the woods unharmed.
Updated -- the large bear remains in the tree on the edge of downtown Jasper as of mid-morning. Jasper Animal Control Officer Lonnie Waters assured several people stopping by to take pictures that he has no plans to shoot, dart or do anything to the bear "unless something happens."
He also quickly told one person that he definitely isn't going to climb up to get it. Waters estimated the bear might weigh as much as 250-300 pounds.
The animal control officer predicted the bear would eventually sneak back off into the woods -- most likely after dark tonight.
Original story --
As of about 5:30 a.m. Thursday this bear was still clinging to the top of an oak tree in the small city park on the edge of downtown Jasper. The tree is on the grounds of the Old Roper Hospital where the bear fled after Jasper's animal control officer chased it out of a residential neighborhood about 9 p.m. last night. According to deputies who stopped by to check on it, it had first settled on a lower branch before moving higher durng the night.
A walker out early on Thursday said South Main Street had been a hotbed of bear activity lately -- the basic in-town bear behaviour eating bird feeders and turning over garbage cans.
Corrected -- Waters said he isn't sure this is a bear he chased out of a residential neighborhood last night. Though he answered two different bear calls, Waters said, "There are so many bears, I don't know if that is him or not."