State wildlife officers looked for the bear for three weeks after reports he was caught in the jug. The Knoxville News Sentinel said the male bear was roaming around Newport, in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.
On July 17, wildlife officer Shelly Hammonds was checking another report of the bear when the animal ran in front of her vehicle. Hammonds fired a tranquillizer dart and the bear collapsed in downtown Newport.
The bear weighed just 115 pounds, about half its expected weight. It was released into the Cherokee National Forest. Wildlife officials believe the bear got into the jar while foraging through garbage.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)