Bear found wandering around Renton

Bear found wandering around Renton
RENTON, Wash. -- On Wednesday a local neighborhood woke up to an uninvited guest -- a bear.

"Never, never, never ever would I have imagined a bear in this neighborhood," said one resident.

But there is a first time for everything. Without invitation, the bear had wandered into a local development. And he wasn't a shy guest either.

Before wildlife officers could get him in a trap, the bear climbed some 50 feet up a tree. It took wildlife officers, police officers and fire officials to get him back down.

The 300-pound black bear was 35-feet up the tree when Wildlife Officer Bruce Richards arrived.

"Trouble is the bear started climbing the tree, which was not what you wanted. And he went really high," he said.

The bear high climbed at least 50-feet up when Renton firefighters hoisted Richards to the same level to tranquilize the bear.

"He's half-drugged, but he's looking at me wanting to bite me and I'm trying to get a rope on his front paw," Richards said of his time up in the air.

That's when it happened -- the bear fell. And as he tumbled to the ground, he hit a net Renton police had set up at the base of the tree. And amazingly, it wasn't hurt.

There's still too much snow in the mountains to release the bear back to the wild. So Richards will take the bear to the PAWS Wildlife Center where he will stay for several weeks and get a physical.

"That would be my goal. So something grows so he can find something to eat and won't have to come back down and find something to eat," Richards said.

Richards said there will probably be more bear sightings in the next few weeks. He said this year's extra snowfall caused the bears to hibernate longer, which means they're waking up hungrier than usual.