breaking news

AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young dead at 64

Bear spends 11 hours in tree, gets down, climbs another


After nearly a day and failed rescue attempts by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department, a black bear finally came down from a tree near a Renton elementary school.

The bear stayed in one tree and then another for about 20 hours overnight Wednesday into Thursday.

See close-up photo of the bear here.

The bear climbed down the first tree after 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, but then clambered up another one. Wildlife officials left Wednesday night, thinking that the bear could come down on its own. It eventually came down at 3:20 a.m. Thursday and ran into the woods.

Crews were called around noon Wednesday to the tree, which is in a park with a tennis court about a block from Highlands Elementary School. Children were kept inside at recess and were released slightly earlier than usual.

Animal control officers tried to shoot bean bags at the bear in hopes of bringing it down and tranquilizing it. Officers use the tranquilizer only when bears are closer to the ground, so they were unable to use tranquilizer darts while it was in the tree.

Wildlife officials wanted to get the nearly 200-pound bear down from the tree and relocate it away from the neighborhood, but they were not at the scene overnight.

>> Read more trending news

The animal control officers' efforts appeared to make the bear climb higher in the tree. It fell down several limbs just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, then again tried to climb higher in the tree.

KIRO 7 News spoke to Nadine Drisseq of King County's "Bear Smart" program, who said that during the spring season, the bears are losing calories until berries become available. The bear likely came for food, but it scurried up the tree out of fear.

“There were garbage (cans) all around,” Drisseq said. “I think people have taken them in now. It’s garbage day, and he’s been lured here.”

Drisseq's Bear Smart program worked on a 2016 study that looked into residential garbage bins attracting bears.

The study claims that once a bear gets a taste of human garbage, it can become "food conditioned" and continue a habit of searching for food in garbage cans.

According to the study, the so-called "food conditioning" is dangerous for both the community and the bear, which can become more aggressive in its search for food.

Sightings of bears are reported across the eastside region from Bothell down to Auburn, especially at homes near densely wooded areas.

The statewide black bear population in Washington likely ranges between 25,000 and 30,000 animals. Bear attacks are rare, although the chances of being injured by one multiply in the backcountry.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Musicians pay tribute to young rapper Lil Peep after his tragic death
Musicians pay tribute to young rapper Lil Peep after his tragic death

New York SoundCloud rapper Lil Peep — whose real name was Gustav Åhr — passed away on Wednesday at the age of 21. He was reportedly found in an unresponsive state by his manager on his tour bus, according to The Guardian. In a video posted on Instagram just a few hours before his death, he said he had consumed...
Serena Williams shares wedding photos in new interview
Serena Williams shares wedding photos in new interview

Tennis icon Serena Williams married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in New Orleans Thursday, and gave the first official photos to Vogue magazine to share. The ceremony was in front of 200 guests made up of family and friends -- Venus Williams, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian Anna Wintour, Ciara and the newlyweds’ 2-month-old daughter Alexis Olympia...
Tim McGraw weighs in on Blake Shelton’s new ‘sexy’ title
Tim McGraw weighs in on Blake Shelton’s new ‘sexy’ title

You can tell from Blake Shelton’s reaction to winning People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” honors that the award is one to be taken lightly. The tall and talented Okie has been appreciative yet modest about the recognition and, at times, he’s even self-deprecating. But his good friends, including Tim McGraw, have got his back...
Expert details how to best handle an active shooter situation
Expert details how to best handle an active shooter situation

Mass shootings have been becoming more common in America, with one happening nearly every week. But have you considered what to do if you're in a dangerous situation with someone opening fire and attacking you?  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a video recommending "run, hide, fight" for active shooter situations. WPXI...
Serena Williams marries Alexis Ohanian in New Orleans, reveals wedding dress
Serena Williams marries Alexis Ohanian in New Orleans, reveals wedding dress

Serena Williams is officially a married woman, according to reports. People reported that the tennis legend and her fiance, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, were married Thursday in New Orleans. Reports bubbled this week that the pair was getting married at the Contemporary Arts Center.  E! News reported that the nuptials came two years...
More Stories