TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan (AP) — A northern Michigan town has a new Mother’s Day memory: A 350-pound bear sat in a tree for hours and was watched by dozens of people before falling asleep and falling onto the mattresses below.
“It’s like the best block party ever,” said Annette Andersen.
Traverse City drama began when wildlife experts responded to a morning call about a bear in a leafy tree. They fired at least four tranquilizer darts into his butt. The bear was dozing on a thick branch before finally falling to the ground early Sunday afternoon.
Ashlea Walter dragged mattresses from her home to help cushion the fall Traverse City Record-Eagle reported.
Viewers, seated on lawns or in chairs, held up their phones to take photos and videos.
“They’re a tough animal,” said Steve Griffith, a state wildlife biologist. “Obviously they are in trees all the time and accidents happen in the wild too. … They can take a pretty good fall.”
The bear was transferred to a cylindrical bear trap on a tarp after its vital signs and respiratory system were checked.
Next stop: a long drive and release in a wooded area, “probably at least 50 to 60 miles,” Griffith said.