ALBANY N.Y. – A black bear trapped in a tree in Albany since Tuesday has fallen to the ground and was euthanized due to its injuries, according to officials.
Officials say that a bear was spotted in Bethlehem at 6:24 a.m. Tuesday, May 27 in the vicinity of Old Rt. 9W. The bear reportedly had double ear tags, which means he had previous encounters with wildlife biologists. DEC also received reports of bear activity in neighborhoods in Bethlehem over the weekend, where the bear attempted to get into a garage and damaged tents
They then received calls stating a bear had been hit by a car twice near I-787 at around 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday, May 27 before running into the residential area on Morton Avenue.
Department of Environmental Conservation officials confirmed that it was the same bear that later resurfaced on Rose Court in Albany. In a statement released Wednesday, the DEC said, "dangerous behavior and injuries already sustained, the most appropriate course of action is to put the bear down."
DEC officers tracked the bear to a ravine where officers could attempt to put the bear down in a secluded area. The wound was not mortal, and the bear escaped the ravine and ran up a tree where it remained overnight.
DEC monitored the bear, which was about 70 feet up in the tree. Officials had an aerial crane set up by the tree, which was located on Rose Court and Whitehall Road.
The bear was shot with two tranquilizer darts, but ran up higher into the tree after getting hit. As of noon Wednesday, the bear was asleep, wedged in between some branches. Nets were set up under the tree in case the bear fell.
After it fell, the bear was placed in a cage, and DEC wildlife biologists on the scene assessed the bear and determined that for humane and nuisance reasons, the bear needed to be put down. Biologists determined the bear sustained a serious visible injury, most likely from being struck by a car.
The DEC originally stated that they would put the bear down, citing that it is necessary for public safety reasons and its close proximity to neighborhoods, schools, and roadways. But there has been outcry with the decision from Capital Region residents, and the DEC said they would access the animal after it was removed from the tree. Officials cited that the bear has been relocated twice for nuisance behavior; they are able to tell it is the same bear by the double tags on its ear.
This bear brought out many onlookers who were curious to see what would happen. Peter Ferrera and his daughter Asia are one of the few that came ready with binoculars on Wednesday morning.
“This is a spotting scope. We usually watch birds and photograph things far away,” he said.
The DEC warns the public to never approach or surround a bear and to be especially cautious around cubs as mother bears are very protective. The DEC also states to avoid walking trails at night, use noise to scare bears, never run from a bear but back away slowly and do not throw objects or food at an approach bear.
Report a black bear sighting by calling the DEC at 518-408-5852.
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