March 6, 2003 at 11:21 PM CST - Updated June 20 at 5:58 PM
Bear Still on the Loose By: Ryan Tate
(Golconda, IL)--The search continues in Pope County for a bear missing since Monday. Now the federal government is getting involved in the search.
According to the Pope County Sheriff, the United States Department of Agriculture will be in Golconda Monday to interview the bear's owner, Jerry Mullenix. The U.S.D.A. would not confirm that visit. But representatives from the department tell Heartland News, Mullenix passed three separate inspections in the past three years, as well as having a "License to Exhibit" the bear.
There is still no sign of Shawnee, the seven foot tall, 500 pound black bear. Four officers from the Sheriff's Department are joined by Mullenix and a Hardin County woman who has experience tranquilizing wild animals. No local or state charges can be filed against Mullenix, but Sheriff A. J. Sparks says charges could be filed by the federal government.