updated 9/25/2008 7:02:46 PM ET 2008-09-25T23:02:46

Alabama authorities said a severed foot brought home by a family dog belongs to a bear — and not a child as they first thought.

Police in Russellville spent two days searching surrounding wooded areas for a small child after a family dog brought the foot to its home late Saturday.

The son of a homeowner spotted the family dog carrying something late Saturday and called his father, who then alerted police.

The structure of the bear's foot was close enough to a human's to fool an orthopedic surgeon who examined it, Police Chief Chris Hargett said. But forensic tests later found its origin.

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