A bear who has been seen wandering a Phoenix suburb has finally been captured by wildlife officials. The cinnamon-colored black bear was spotted early Christmas morning at around 5 a.m. and officials followed it into a Mesa neighborhood. The police were finally able to set up a perimeter to isolate the bear and a wildlife officer shot it with a tranquilizer gun.
As Yahoo! News reported, the bear had been spotted twice during the week roaming the nearby area as it managed to elude capture. He was a smaller bear, weighing only about 125 lbs., so officials think he was only about two to three-years-old. Wildlife officials said that sighting a bear in the Phoenix metro area was a rare event, although a bear is spotted there once every couple of years or so.
The bear was first spotted on Monday by a TV news helicopter who filmed the bear bounding in an alfalfa field, and then it was spotted standing just a few feet away from a game warden with a tranquilizer gun. However, the bear managed to escape into the shrubbery and trees of a General Motors test site. Officials said the area was too vast to search for the bear.
According to ABC News, east Mesa residents spotted the bear again on early Tuesday morning about 3:30 a.m. and again at 4:30 in the morning and called wildlife officials. However, the elusive bear managed to hide again and the search was called off until there was another confirmed sighting, which happened Christmas Day.
Black bears can be dangerous and have killed humans before. The Inquisitr reported about a black bear attack in November that took place in New Jersey. The bear attacked and killed a Rutgers University student who was out hiking with four other friends. They all managed to take pictures of the bear before it attacked, prompting officials to think they somehow agitated the bear before it attacked the group.
Fortunately, the cinnamon-colored bear, nicknamed Mesa Bear, was peacefully captured when it was darted by wildlife officials. After it was darted, it ran and jumped a six foot fence before falling asleep. The bear was taken away by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. He will be given the chance to recover and then released into the Tonto Natural Forest to live out his life… providing he doesn’t go on walkabout again.
[Image via Twitter]