For the first time in Boulder this spring, wildlife officers today tranquilized and moved a bear from a tree in a south Boulder backyard after the homeowner discovered the animal hissing and drooling while she worked outside.
The roughly 4-year-old, 175-pound female black bear was tranquilized at about 12:40 p.m. while she rested in a tree at 3615 Moorhead Ave. She's being relocated to a better location, said Claire Solohub, district wildlife manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
Solohub said wildlife officers believe the bear is the same animal they've been "baby-sittingâ for weeks in the Table Mesa area - the one they were trying to avoid tranquilizing by sitting below her while she stayed perched in trees.
"She's been around a lot,â Solohub said. "She's been taking up a fair bit of our time keeping her safe and us safe.â
When a bear is tranquilized in Colorado, it's fitted with an ear tag indicating the animal has been moved once. Colorado bears are on a "two-strikeâ policy, meaning if they're tranquilized and moved out of a residential setting twice, they'll be killed.
Solohub said, however, that if a tagged bear returns to town, officers work "really hardâ to haze it into open space and not tranquilize it.
"So I hope she's happy where we release her,â Solohub said.
Wildlife officers believe today's bear is the mother of a cub that was electrocuted and killed Sunday morning.
Solohub said the cub climbed up a power pole in south Boulder and possibly bit a wire.
The "tight spotâ the mother bear found herself in today - in a neighborhood east of Broadway bordering U.S. 36 - prompted officials to dart her out of a tree.
"I don't know where she would go from here,â Solohub said.
A Boulder woman working in her backyard at about 10:45 a.m. today discovered the bear. Phrogge VanAusdall said she was surprised when she heard a hissing sound behind her.
"I thought it was a mountain lion,â VanAusdall said. "I looked up and the bear was hanging out of the branch, looking at me and hissing and drooling.
"I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I've got to go inside,'â she said.