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Bear-ly curious

Maybe it was looking for some peace and quiet.

Maybe it had its sights on the donut holes in Bob Schilling's lunch.

No one knows for sure why the black bear walked into the USG warehouse along Poplar Avenue Thursday, but the creature caused quite a stir.

"I think it smelled Bob's food," joked Scott Sunde, who works with Schilling in the warehouse, which USG leases from Field Logic.

The two men had just taken their lunch break when the four-footed visitor appeared.

"It just came running in," Schilling said.

The animal certainly wasn't enticed inside by the warehouse's contents -- packages of neatly stacked ceiling tiles.

"I think it wanted Bob's lunch," Sunde said.

The bear made a bee line for a smaller back room, then came out confused.

About that time, a Superior police officer arrived and Schilling and Sunde helped him herd the bear out of the warehouse.

"I think the bear was kind of scared to go outside," said Sunde, because a crowd of people had gathered.

Cory Darnall, a warehouse worker for Sweeney Materials, was watching from outside the warehouse.

"I had to laugh at a couple of the guys out there cause they were like, 'It's just a bear,' but when the bear came running out of the building they came running back," Darnall said.

After the bear came out of the warehouse, he said, it crossed the street into the Bay View housing complex.

"There was a bunch of people standing across the street," Darnall said. "The bear ran right for them." Although people broke and fled, he said, the bear ran past them.

"He wasn't aggressive ... he just wanted to get back to somewhere familiar," Darnall said.

The bear was about the height of a desk on all fours, Darnall said. Sunde estimated it weighed about 150 pounds.

After veering into Bay View, the bear ran back across the street into the lot behind Freedom gas station, onlookers said. According to the Superior police department, officers trailed the bear until it disappeared into the woods near the Superior/Douglas County YMCA.

Wildlife is common along Poplar Avenue. Schilling remembers watching a herd of 23 deer walk through between the warehouse and Freedom gas station on Belknap Street, but "we've never seen a bear."

"This is a first," Darnall said.