Officers find bear new place to rest


After two days of roaming in the city, a bear was tranquilized and relocated to a safe location on July 18.

The black bear, believed to be between 150 to 200 pounds and about 2 years old, was first spotted the morning of Tuesday, July 16, near 66th Avenue and Union Street.

Arvada Police and Animal Management monitored the bear, hoping it would return to the mountains on its own, said Arvada Police Public Relations Coordinator Jill McGranahan.

“We were hoping the bear would find its own way back when it was evident that it was a little confused,” McGranahan said.

Instead, the bear continued to move east; it was spotted at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., near 72nd Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 17.

Residents were cautioned to remain alert and keep pets inside while the bear was being tracked.

There were no reports of damage or injury caused by the bear.

The bear was found sleeping in a resident’s backyard at 67th Avenue and Benton Street the morning of July 18. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers tranquilized the bear as it slept around 9 a.m. July 18.

“It was a good location and we had a good view from different sides,” McGranahan said. “The problem with tranquilizing is animals usually run as soon as their hit, so we didn’t want to have a loose bear that had been tranquilized. We were able to shoot him (with a tranquilizer) and keep an eye on him through several yards. He jumped one fence and went into a neighbor’s backyard before the tranquilizer took effect.”

Once the tranquilizer took effect, the bear was transported to a safe location.

Tranquilizing the bear while it was sleeping was also the safest option for the bear as well, McGranahan said.

“It’s hard on an animal to be tranquilized, especially when they’re pretty agitated and nervous around a lot of people,” she said. “Their heart rates are up, and it can be dangerous to be tranquilized and have it drop low.”

Because the bear was sleeping, its heart rate was already low and it was not in danger when it was tranquilized, she said.

The bear was found to be healthy, McGranahan said, though a little stinky because it had been sprayed by a skunk.


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