I Thought It Was A Really Big Porcupine

Wednesday, October 6, 2010 - 3:36pm

Oregon man finds bear stuck in his backyard tree.

"I thought it was a really big porcupine," Bend, Oregon resident Philip Pohl said Tuesday after a huge bear was pulled from a tree in his yard. "My wife and I stepped out on our deck and got a better look and were like, 'That's a bear!'"

This wasn't this bear's first time being spotted in the neighborhood.

Police said the bear was terrorizing the area Monday night, knocking over trash cans, looking for food.

This marks the Bend area's second bear removal in a week.

"They are looking for food, and breeding season is coming," said Corey Heath of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. "So it's not a pattern, but it's unusual for Bend to have two in a week."

It took the curious bear just a few minutes to claw his way more than 60 feet up the tree, but it took rescue workers hours to bring it down safely.

Weighing more than 300 pounds, the bear had to be shot with tranquilizers multiple times because of its size.

"Then he fell asleep up in the tree from the immobilizing darts," Heath said. "And so it was a fairly big process getting him down from the tree safely, for the firemen and the bear."

Two firefighters put harnesses on the bear.

They took their time lowering the bear to safety, because slipping out of the harnesses meant a long fall off the cliff below.

Once they successfully brought him down, firefighters took in the experience.

"It was definitely the first bear rescue for me," Bend fire Engineer Tom Edwards said. "And Capt. Lance Dyer was looking forward to getting a bear rescue under his belt. So, we had a good time, and the bear had a good time, and that's the important part."

Police said even though seeing the large bear up close and personal was exciting, people need to be aware of the dangers.

"We definitely encourage people to treat animals like wild animals," said Bend police Community Service Officer Canyon Davis. "And not to approach them and corner them, or tree them or chase them, or pursue them in any way."

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