2017-08-07 / Front Page

Brown bear, two crocs recaptured

Sanctuary owners suspect foul play
By Steven Kovac
810-452-2684 • skovac@mihomepaper.com

BROWN CITY — Did someone intentionally set free a trio of exotic animals at Summer Wind Farms Sanctuary?

That’s the question facing investigators looking into how a one-year-old Syrian Brown Bear and two crocodiles escaped from their cages last Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

According to a report from the Sanilac County Sheriff’s Dept., deputies were dispatched to the animal sanctuary on Mowerson Road east of Brown City at 10:19 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 2, to assist in capturing a loose bear.

Upon arrival, deputies were informed by the sanctuary’s owners that they were able to find and capture the two crocodiles, but not the bear.

The owners also informed authorities that they believed the animals’ cages were intentionally opened.

As a precaution, the DNR was called to the scene, as well as Brown City Fire, Elk Township Fire, Speaker Township Fire, Brown City Police, Sanilac County Search and Rescue, and the Sanilac County Aero Unit.

The manpower was used to help find the bear, and to notify surrounding residents of the situation.

In just over an hour, the bear was located still on the sanctuary property.

The escaped Syrian Brown Bear, which can weigh up to 550 pounds and stand between 40 to 55 inches tall, was sedated by tranquilizer gun and returned to its enclosure.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the Sanilac County Sheriff’s Dept. at 810-648-2000.

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