Panic as huge black bear wanders onto school campus packed with students

A huge bear caused chaos this week after wandering onto a school campus while the students were in class.

The beast was first spotted at around 7am on Monday (May 16), roaming the fenced-in sports field at Morgan Middle School in Utah, US.

It was a black bear, estimated at five to six-years-old and weighing around 175lbs (79kg).

The Morgan School District said that students were kept inside the school after the alarm was raised, whilst Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) and animal control officers rushed to the scene.

Fortunately for the students it eventually ambled off the campus, but ended up in the gardens of those living nearby.

Local resident Mackenzie Glover told KSL: "My husband left for work, then he comes running back inside.

"He's like, 'I think the bear is in our backyard!'"

When they ventured into their garden, Mackenzie and her husband found the bear hiding up a tree.

"He just kind of looked afraid. He was just kind of looking at all of us lined up, and at the dogs."

Wildlife officials called dog handlers who brought hounds to keep the bear in place.

Game wardens then tranquilised it before taking it to a remote habitat and releasing it back into the wild.

The DWR has now warned that there is an increased risk of bear encounters in Utah due to the severe drought the state is experiencing, which impacts the bears' food supplies.

DWR Game Mammals Coordinator Darren DeBloois said: "The lower food supply could lead to more bear conflicts this summer as bears look more broadly for food.

"We’re anticipating a possible increase in incidents this year of bears getting into people’s garbage and scavenging for food."

Residents were told to bear-proof bins and remove birdfeeders, fruit trees, compost piles, beehives, pet food and BBQs from open areas.

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