WEST SALEM, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Some exciting, yet scary moments Friday as a black bear decides to go wandering through parts of West Salem.
The story starts Friday morning when the bear was found walking around inside the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway. The photos with this story come from Dave Noelke, Marketing Director for the track and a witness to the visitor.
The bear eventually left the track area and continued its southern journey through the Salem Territory subdivision according to West Salem Police Chief Charles Ashbeck. He tells WXOW that he and other officers tried to channel the bear on its trip through town while making sure everyone in its path was safe.
Schools in the village were locked down as a precaution although the bear did not venture near any of them. No one was hurt during the entire incident.
Chief Ashbeck says the bear crossed Highway 16 near the Hansen's IGA grocery store and continued past homes and through backyards until it reached the area of the bike trail and railroad tracks south of town.
It continued east along the trail and track area before heading south once again approaching I-90.
Unfortunately, as the bear tried to cross the interstate by Mile Marker 12 near the West Salem exit, it was struck by a semi. A spokesman for the Wisconsin State Patrol says due to its injuries, a state trooper on the scene had to euthanize the bear.
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