A city in northern Michigan has a new Mother’s Day memory: A 350-pound bear was in a tree for hours, watched by dozens of people, before it fell asleep and dropped onto mattresses below.
“It’s like the best block party ever,” Annette Andersen said.
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The drama in Traverse City began when wildlife experts responded to a morning call about a bear in a leafy tree. They fired at least four tranquilizer darts into his butt. The bear snoozed on a thick limb before finally dropping to the ground by early afternoon Sunday.
Ashlea Walter hauled mattresses from her house to soften the fall, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported.
Spectators sitting on lawns or in chairs held their phones up to take pictures and video.
“They’re a tough animal,” said Steve Griffith, a state wildlife biologist. “Obviously they are in trees all the time, and they do have accidents in the wild. … They can take a pretty good fall.”
The bear was transferred on a tarp to a cylindrical bear trap after his vital signs and airway were checked.
Next stop: a long drive and release in a wooded area, “probably 50-60 miles at minimum,” Griffith said.
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The Associated Press contributed to this article.