Update: They got him. See the latest at the story's end.
Original story follows:
Demonstrating that the follies of youth aren't the exclusive domain of humans, a young bear spotted earlier today bounding around Eureka, Missouri, now appears to be trapped in a Catholic middle school, and, like many a youngster before him, is probably having a real bad time.
As first reported in the Eureka Leader, the large rascal turned up in Eureka around 1 p.m., appearing on surveillance footage hauling ass down the street outside a manufacturing plant.
This, clearly, is a bear born to run.
But the open road led this adventurous scamp into the clutches of the Most Sacred Heart Catholic School, where he was confronted with a most tempting opportunity: a door propped open "a little bit," according to the parish priest.
Pastor Joe Kempf suggested to the Leader that perhaps the bear is simply one of "God’s creatures" and seeking the love of a community parish.
Then again, according to video of the trapped bear inside the school, it looks like this particular creature wants nothing to do with the trappings of organized religion.
As of press time, it is not clear whether the bear found the crucifix too cold, too hot, or just right.
Tom Meister, a bear expert with Missouri Department of Conservation, tells KMOX that the bear is hiding in the ceiling inside the middle school. Meister says the bear may have smelled the lunches and wandered into the building.
Police quickly removed some statues at Sacred Heart School in Eureka to save them from the bear. Claw marks present pic.twitter.com/wz5zeWJnis
Moral of the story: If you are a bear, and you smell lunch wafting from school, run away. It's almost always a trap. Stay in the woods, where lunch is literally everywhere, because — and this is the important bit — you're a bear and you can do anything, except open doors.
Update: They got him.
The Leader reports that the approximately eighteen-month-old, 90-pound black bear was tranquilized by conservation agents and transported to a suitably remote spot in rural Jefferson County.