OSP Fish & Wildlife responded to bear alerts in both Ashland and Klamath Falls. The Ashland bear had been sighted for a couple of days prior to capture. Both bears were tranquilized and released into the wild.
In two Sunday incidents less than an hour apart, two treed bears found in residential areas in the cities of Ashland and Klamath Falls were tranquilized and released later into the wild following a coordinated response by city, state and federal agencies.
According to Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Wildlife Division Lieutenant David Gifford the first incident started on May 24, 2009 at 9:40 a.m. when OSP Fish & Wildlife troopers were called to assist Ashland police regarding a small bear, approximately 40 – 50 pounds and about one year old, in a backyard tree of a residence on Dewey Street. The bear had been seen in the area over the past several days and appeared to have settled up in the tree.
OSP Fish & Wildlife troopers and Ashland police officers consulted on the phone with ODFW staff and a Wildlife Services agent from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA Wildlife Services agent responded to the scene and darted the bear with tranquilizers with little effect. An ODFW biologist then responded and was able to successfully tranquilize the bear at approximately 2 p.m. The bear appeared to be in good health and was transported out of town where it was released into the wild.
The second incident was reported at 10:05 a.m. to Klamath County 9-1-1. A bear was reported walking down a Klamath Falls residential street and Klamath Falls police officers responded to find it. At 11:40 a.m. another report was received advising the bear was in the backyard of a residence on Beuna Vista Street. Klamath Falls police and a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer arrived at the scene and the bear climbed into a tree at a residence on Wocus Street.
OSP troopers arrived on scene about 12:05 p.m. to coordinate a response with ODFW staff. ODFW Biologist Craig Foster responded from Lakeview and successfully tranquilized the male yearling bear which was then also transported to a remote location and returned to the wild.
"Fortunately, in both incidents the animals did not pose immediate threats to human safety. Agency personnel were able to coordinate each response and bring them to a successful conclusion with the animal's release back into the wild," said Gifford.