Black Bear Put Down In Washington State

Olympian, Bear Hunting Magazine

Fish and Wildlife officers shot and killed a 300-pound black bear Monday in Lacey, Washington after it climbed a 30-foot oak tree outside a mattress factory.

The officers said there was no way they could save the bear. Relocating the bear was not an option because of the public safety risk and the impracticality of leaving a tranquilized 300-pound bear in the wild during hunting season, Fish and Wildlife spokesman Craig Bartlett said.

A Fish and Wildlife officer used a lethal dart that inhibits the bear's respiratory system, Bartlett said.
Lacey police started getting calls about the bear wandering around the industrial area where the factory is located about 7:30 a.m. Monday. Later, a mattress factory truck driver called to say the bear had climbed the tree.

Lyon said the bear was "wide awake," huffing down at the crowd of Fish and Wildlife officers that had gathered around him. Encounters between bears and people are becoming more common in Washington as development encroaches on forests.

"It's a situation that gets played out in communities throughout the state," Bartlett said. "The chances for bears and people to cross paths are increasing because of that."

Over the years, Fish and Wildlife officers have had to deal with bears on the loose in downtown Tacoma and near the University of Washington campus in Seattle, to name a few, Bartlett said. Two bears were killed last year within days in Thurston County.

Bartlett said in the most-recent bear shooting, the bear might have been hungry. "They're always looking for food," Bartlett said.

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