CAMDEN, SC (WLTX) - Down the road from the Camden intersection of Bull and Lyttleton Streets, is a dog named Buster who's not afraid of anything. Housed behind a chain link fence, this small Jack Russell Terrier may be the reason that a black bear nested in a neighborhood tree for hours.
Camden Police Chief Joe Floyd and his officers dealt with the 300 pound to 400 pound bear for 13 hours on Sunday.
"Sunday morning around 11:30 we received a 911 call from dispatch saying that some citizens had seen a bear," explained Chief Floyd. "And of course, we went over and looked around and saw what we thought could have been a bear in a wooded area but never could locate it."
It took ten hours before it was relocated, this time by Buster.
"We got a call from a resident on Lyttleton Street saying their dog had chased a bear up a tree and that it was still there!"
Camden Police, Kershaw County Animal Control and the Department of Natural Resources were all on the scene.
"Of course, a bear coming into a community like this creates an alarm within a community, there's no question."
Police blocked off the area keeping curious residents at bay for their protection.
Floyd said although black bears can be dangerous, this particular one seemed pretty docile up in the tree.
"(He was) just this calm, friendly little bear. You wanted to go up and pet it on the head."
As hours ticked by more residents gathered and officials wondered if the bear would come down on its own.
"You had the moods of the citizens, the people who were around, and everybody just wanted to see the bear. And then you had the mood of the staff and everything, and the mood there was, 'this is taking a long time!'."
Just before 1am officials decided it was time to force the bear down.
"I was truly, truly impressed by the DNR officer that was administering the tranquilizer. His care and concern for the animal went far beyond him just trying to get this animal out of a tree."
Eventually the bear tumbled down taking branches and power lines down too landing right next to Buster's Fence.
"It was like a huge relief from people who were there working that this has turned out okay. The bears okay and everybody else is okay. This is good."
Except for a few bumps and bruises, the bear is okay and was released near the Wateree River.
Although there's never been a situation quite like this in Camden before there have been black bear sightings in 45 of South Carolina's 46 counties.