Bear comes to city, will get escort back to woods

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Associated Press

Posted on June 11, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 11 at 1:06 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon wildlife biologists say a bear that appeared to wander into a Portland neighborhood will sleep off a dose of tranquilizers and then get an escort back to the woods.

The 125-pound, 2-year-old male bear caused a stir early Wednesday as police tracked it through several yards and climbed a tree. A wildlife officer shot it with a tranquilizer dart.

Unable to get to it with a truck, firefighters climbed the tree, gave the reviving bear another hit of tranquilizer, hobbled it and then lowered it to the ground with ropes, said Rick Swart, a spokesman for the state Fish and Wildlife Department.

A crowd of 50 to 70 people along with TV news vans gathered to watch officers remove the bear.

A biologist decided it was likely disoriented and not a problem bear expecting food. So, it's been caged and will be released in an "undisclosed location" Swart said.

Oregon has up to 30,000 black bears, and they are not unknown in the Portland area. One was spotted in suburban Tualatin in 2011 and removed.

But Swart said the northeast Concordia neighborhood "is a really urban area," and officials don't know of a bear in quite so dense a development.

The neighborhood is a few miles south of the Columbia River corridor, and just south of sloughs, golf courses and a park that could have minimized the amount of urban territory the bear would have had to negotiate. Swart said, though, that it's unknown where the bear came from.

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