Bear survives hard fall from tree near downtown Salt Lake City – LocalNews8.com

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A black bear that had ventured into a Salt Lake City neighborhood from the nearby mountains fell 20 feet from a tree Wednesday morning after it was tranquilized by wildlife officials who failed to soften it. to land.

The two-year-old male black bear, perched above the tree-lined streets at the foot of Utah’s Capitol Hill, fell hard to the road below but survived. The state Wildlife Resources Department released the bear later Wednesday to more ideal mountain habitat after the agency said it passed multiple health evaluations.

The young bear’s urban adventure was cut short after wildlife officials shot him with tranquilizer darts, causing him to slip and fall while climbing down the tree, spokesman Scott Root said. They were setting up a truck under the tree to help break the fall, but were unable to secure it in time.

The city’s fire department and parks department had trucks equipped with ladders and buckets to help remove the bear from the tree, but they were unsuccessful, wildlife spokesperson Faith Heaton Jolley said.

“The ladders could not be deployed until the bear was tranquilized so they wouldn’t scare the bear out of the tree,” she said.

Crews then loaded the bear into a tube-like cage, administered a fast-acting drug to reverse the effects of the sedatives and tagged its ear to track its location.

Residents had gathered just a few blocks north of downtown to watch officials capture the animal, and many cringed as it hit the ground. Bears are resilient creatures and have recovered from falls in the few cases where local officials were unable to capture them, Root said.

Black bears — the only bear species found in Utah — typically emerge from hibernation in mid-March but are rarely seen in the capital despite its proximity to the mountains, he said.

The bear, Jolley said, was likely looking for food and water, far away from the dry foothills.