Tree-bound bear draws big crowd

SPOKANE - Wildlife officers were forced to tranquilize a black bear that wandered a little to far into the Indian Trail neighborhood on Saturday.

Neighbors spotted the female bear in a tree near Pacific Park off Indian Trail Road around noon.

Crews from the Department of Fish and Wildlife were called in to get the animal down and away from curious onlookers.

Sgt. Mike Charron with Fish and Wildlife said the bear was most likely passing through when something spooked her into the tree.

"This bear hasn't shown any tendencies to be a problem bear, it's just been caught in kind of an unusual spot," said Sgt. Charron.

Spokane Police and the Washington State Patrol closed off part of Indian Trail Rd. for more than an hour while the bear was tranquilized and transported.

Firefighters lifted a wildlife officer near 100 feet into the air with one of their ladder trucks so the officer could shoot the bear with two tranquilizer darts.

While the sedative took effect, crews suspended a tarp underneath the tree to break the bear's eventual fall.

Just after 1:30pm, the bear fell out of the tree and landed on the ground below. Wildlife officials lifted the animal into a truck for transport.

The bear will be examined and then moved back to the wilderness somewhere in either Stevens or Pend Oreille County.

Sgt. Charron said it's not unusual to see a bear or moose passing through the area, but when they are so close to the general public, it's best to move them far away where they can roam free.

"There could be more occurrences like this throughout the summer. Hopefully this won't happen again," said Charron.

KXLY4's Annie Bishop and Jared Richardson contributed to this story.