Black bear that escaped wildlife rehabilitation center found

Black bear that escaped wildlife rehabilitation center found
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks via AP, via Bozeman Daily Chronicle

State wildlife officials located a small black bear that escaped from the wildlife rehabilitation center west of Helena and will return it to the wild a bit earlier than planned.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Greg Lemon says the 3- to 4-year-old female bear clawed and chewed its way through a chain link fence at Montana WILD late Tuesday or early Wednesday, but did not get through the center’s exterior fence.

The bear was located Wednesday and tranquilized. It will be released near where it was located in February, emaciated with over 200 porcupine quills in its mouth. The quills were removed and the bear gained some weight while at the rehabilitation center.

Wildlife officials had planned to return the bear to the wild sometime this spring.