Easily this one:
North Liberty Police are investigating reports of a bear along Muddy Creek and the bike trail.
Dispatchers with the North Liberty Police Department and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office reported they received 11 calls of a black bear lurking along the CRANDIC railroad tracks and bike trail along Muddy Creek south of Zeller Street in North Liberty. Most of the reports were on Wednesday, with the latest coming in around 10 p.m. Wednesday night, North Liberty Police Chief James Warkentin said.
Police called in the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Iowa City Animal Control, who spent parts of Thursday searching for the bear. Tim Thompson, a biologist with the IDNR, said he investigated reports of bear tracks in North Liberty around 6 p.m. Wednesday, only to determine they came from a dog. However, he said it was likely that if a bear was loose, it was a smaller animal, about the size of a large dog, and possibly somebody’s pet. He said the publicity surrounding its sighting could bring its owner forward. He also said the bear likely would be fairly harmless unless it was provoked or cornered.
“They’re primarily herbivores,” Thompson said. “They’ll scurry away like a raccoon. It’s probably running terrified.”
Now, when people were first talking about this at work, I flashed back to where we used to live outside of North Liberty. It was a little development (maybe 12-15 houses total) built in a wooded area near the lake. And I do mean wooded area - in summer time, you could only see the houses right next to us and the house across the street. Everything else was surrounded by trees and hilly terrain, and a bear in that area didn't seem too unlikely. After all, I had seen deer and fox in the yard on several occasions.
But no, the area where the "bear" was seen was not in the woods, but in a fairly open area. So the chances of it actually being a bear seem pretty remote. Unless it was one of those hobo bears that jumped a train and then jumped off there. Or a bigfoot. Bigfoot is my best guess.
Anyway, we had a lot of fun with the idea at work, finding bear pictures online to put on our area maps. But trust me - if you Google Bear Pictures, read the results carefully before clicking on the link. You'll be glad you did.