Nuisance Bear Dies After Climbing Up Missoula Tree
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks officials say a problem black bear met its demise in a Missoula neighborhood after falling out of a tree on Saturday.
The bear was reported Saturday morning to be wandering near a house in the 3000 block of Mount Ave, west of Reserve Street.
Wardens tell NBC Montana that it wasn't the first time they have encountered the bear. It was darted and captured nearby at Hawthorne School a couple weeks ago, and relocated about 50 miles away, near the Idaho Border. On Saturday, it returned, and drew a crowd.
"There was one over in this yard across the street about three weeks ago. He was over underneath the neighbor right here just three weeks ago. Then he went down to Kelly Island. I wonder if it's the same one," said Missoula resident Roy Johnson.
"I just heard some shouting from the backyard. The lady that I live with, she was like 'There's a bear. There's a bear. I ran out back. The dog that they have came out and was chasing him. I just saw the bear just run to the next door neighbor's yard ," said Missoula resident Chris Harvey.
The bear ended up climbing a tree on Saturday, before wardens darted it with a tranquilizer. That sometimes will prompt a bear to climb down, but this one was able to find a branch-filled area to doze off. After it awoke, wardens tried coaxing it out of the tree with rubber slugs. It lost its footing, and fell.
Wardens say the bear apparently succumbed to a wound in its chest. It would have been euthanized regardless, FWP officials say, because it had returned to residential Missoula and was showing signs of habituation.
Wardens say the bear was probably about 140 pounds, and was apparently at least four years old.