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With its elegant cafes, bistros and boutiques, downtown Asheville in North Carolina is a popular spot for visitors.

But one recent tourist was guaranteed to turn more heads than most!

A black bear was filmed trotting happily down the road as dumbstruck bystanders and police officers watched in awe.

Police said the ‘law-abiding’ bear used a crosswalk to get over the street and appeared to be wandering happily past shoppers. 

Heartwarming footage of the bear’s stroll was shared by Cari Barcas on Facebook on Thursday, April 22.

The bear wandered happily over a pedestrian crossing in Asheville, North Carolina, wowing customers in a nearby cafe who took pictures on their phones

The bear wandered happily over a pedestrian crossing in Asheville, North Carolina, wowing customers in a nearby cafe who took pictures on their phones

The bear wandered happily over a pedestrian crossing in Asheville, North Carolina, wowing customers in a nearby cafe who took pictures on their phones

A police escort was on hand to make sure the bear was safe and away from trouble

A police escort was on hand to make sure the bear was safe and away from trouble

A police escort was on hand to make sure the bear was safe and away from trouble

Ms Barcas wrote: ‘Walked up on this scene while leaving my office in downtown Asheville. Hope the police escort helped this sweet baby get home safe!

‘Rapid local development is pushing bears out of their natural habitats, so it’s our responsibility to find ways to nurture and coexist with these beautiful creatures.’

According to North Carolina Wildlife, the American black bear – a smaller cousin of the brown bear – inhabits an area covering 60 per cent of the state.

Usually seen in their remote woodland hideways, they typically shy away from contact with humans.

But the bears have increasingly been spotted in towns and cities – with Asheville, situated on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, among their most frequent destinations.

Asheville Police Department also shared footage of their guest’s adventure.

Trip to the club? The bear strolled confidently past a bar in downtown Asheville as patrons looked on in awe

Trip to the club? The bear strolled confidently past a bar in downtown Asheville as patrons looked on in awe

Trip to the club? The bear strolled confidently past a bar in downtown Asheville as patrons looked on in awe

A police spokesman said: ‘APD officers responded to an unusual call on Thursday afternoon of a bear milling around downtown and then eventually climbing a tree in the Pritchard Park area. 

‘The black bear, wearing a wildlife enforcement tracking collar, seemed to want a day in the park, where lots of people were enjoying their day downtown.

‘Officers wanted to help get the bear safely out of the area by helping give the bear space to mosey along. At one point the bear even crossed the street by using the crosswalk. 

‘Although officers appreciated the law-abiding bear, it was important to get the bear back to a wooded area for safety.

After a tiring trip through the downtown shops, the bear made its way to the park and took refuge in a tree

After a tiring trip through the downtown shops, the bear made its way to the park and took refuge in a tree

After a tiring trip through the downtown shops, the bear made its way to the park and took refuge in a tree

‘This is the third incident APD officers have assisted in getting bears out of the downtown area in the past three weeks. Always be aware of your surroundings.’

Earlier this month, a female bear punched a hole into a family’s car windshield in Asheville after she and her two cubs were trapped inside for six hours.

Ashley McGowin, 47, woke up to find a bear and two cubs in her car after letting her dogs out around 6.30am on Thursday.

‘[The dogs’ started barking ferociously as if there was something out in the yard, and when I looked out into the driveway [I saw the bear],’ said Ms McGowin.

Source: Daily Mail

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