A small bear had been roaming around Most Sacred Heart School in Eureka for about 50 minutes and was still in the building at 1 p.m., church Pastor Joe Kempf said today (May 28).
Kempf said the school year concluded May 24, so no students are in the building at 350 E. Fourth St.
He said the bear got in today when doors were propped open for “just a little bit.”
“We would never do that during the school day ever, because there are kids around. Since there are no kids around, they (school staff) were carrying some stuff out and it was the amazing timing that just during that little tiny period, it (the bear) came running through the doors,” Kempf said.
He said the bear had been spotted in downtown Eureka earlier today and, as a result, police were not far behind the bear when it entered the school.
He said the bear was seen on security cameras right after it entered the building.
“We have a wonderful security system,” he said.
Kempf said the bear was in the lobby, then went to the boys’ bathroom. At the time of the interview, he said police were working on trying to get the bear out the back door.
He said he believes the bear has caused some damage inside the school, but he didn’t know the extent.
Kempf said both Eureka Police Department and Missouri Department of Conservation are on the scene.
He said maybe the bear is just one of “God’s creatures” looking for the loving community at the parish.
Jeff Glassner, president of Urethane Roller Specialist, 100 South Central Ave., said he saw the bear run by his security cameras at 11:37 a.m. today. Video shows a small brown bear.
Kempf spoke to the Leader from inside his vehicle, outside the school. He said he was waiting to see the bear exit.