'Get that bear! Get that bear! Ho!'

'Get that bear! Get that bear! Ho!'
MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. - Another shooting in Maple Valley had people taking out their cameras and staring in awe.

Officials shot a 12-year old - after he was caught stealing honey from a neighbor. And it was a problem because this 12-year old - was a bear.

Wildlife experts believe the black bear came out of hibernation about two weeks ago. And, because it's getting older, it went looking for an easy source of food.

But in this case, that was something a local homeowner wasn't going to give up on too easily.

State Fish & Wildlife crews caught the 400-pound beast on Saturday - after residents in Maple Valley complained it was getting a little too close for comfort.

"He's been coming in three nights now to tear my beehives up," says Jerry Bowan. "We've always had them here, but they've never got into anything. They've never destroyed anything, maybe pulled a garbage can over or something."

Even though only a beehive was destroyed, wildlife officials didn't want to take any chances.

So they used doughnuts to lure the creature into a large barrel-shaped container - and then used tranquilizers to sedate him.

Once those wore off it was time for what's called a "hard release on-site."

The bear is let go where it was caught, but shot with bean bags and then chased into the woods by a barking Karelian bear dog and loud firecrackers.

A wildlife agent opens the barrel trap, then fires at the bear with the bean bags as the behemoth runs in fear.

"Get that bear, get that bear, ho, ho!" he shouts at the dog.

Wildlife experts say this gives the bear a natural fear of humans and their habitat. The hope is that this teaches the bear not to return here again.

"It's probably going to look disturbing to people who view this, but by releasing this bear here, it's going to grow up, continue its life where it grew up, which is very important to us. It's important to the bear also," says Bruce Richards with the Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Debra Bowan was happy to see her unwanted neighbor returned to a more natural home.

"Exciting day in the neighborhood," she laughed.

"We're glad to see he's going to get released, not killed," says Jerry Bowan.

This is a fairly new technique, as opposed to releasing the bear into the woods, far from where it was found.

Wildlife officials say they've seen about a 90 percent success rate since they started the hard release program last year.