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Parent spots bear near Gurnee daycare center, popular mall

Bear spotted near Gurnee daycare center, popular mall
Bear spotted near Gurnee daycare center, popular mall 01:33

GURNEE, Ill. (CBS) – Gurnee police issued an unusual warning after a bear was seen near a daycare center on Wednesday morning.

A parent at the Hunt Club Kindercare shot a video that appears to show a black bear running in the area of Hunt Club Road and Route 132 on Wednesday morning. The center is right across from the busy Gurnee Mills Mall. 

CBS 2's Marissa Perlman had the story on the search for the animal and warning from authorities.

Police received the call around 8:45 a.m. When officers arrived, a bear was nowhere to be found.

It's not clear why the animal made its way into such a populated area.

Parents who spoke with CBS 2 said they got an email from the daycare saying everyone inside was OK.

"I think it was a little scary to have a bear so near like that and then there's kids," said parent Jessica Francoeur. "Thank God they were inside and the play yard is gated. That's good too." 

Parents on high alert after bear spotted near Gurnee daycare center 02:07

There were no reports of anyone being hurt. The police department is working with wildlife officials to respond to the area if the animal is spotted.

"When I got the text message from the school, I was like, bear?" said another parent. "And then I saw the video and I'm like my God, not what I thought I'd be worried about today!"

Once common, black bears don't have a resident population in the area, but the Department of Natural Resources said individual bears may travel to Illinois from Missouri and Wisconsin. The IDNR has reported just five spottings in the past five years.

If residents come across the bear, they're asked not to run or surprise the animal.

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