Black bear treed on North Street

Law enforcement, wildlife workers aid in removal

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Felix Monteagudo/For The Cortez Journal

Rescue workers shot three tranquilizer darts into the bear, but later had to free it by hand because its paw was stuck on a limb. Enlargephoto

Felix Monteagudo/For The Cortez Journal Rescue workers shot three tranquilizer darts into the bear, but later had to free it by hand because its paw was stuck on a limb.

Generally speaking, black bears do not appear near downtown Cortez.

Early in the day on Monday, May 19, however, a large bear was spotted in a tree near the intersection of North Street and Pinon Drive across the street from Southwest Design.

By 8 a.m., members of the Cortez Police Department, Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office, Cortez Fire Department and Colorado parks and Wildlife had arrived at the scene.

By 9 a.m., small groups of curious onlookers gathered, and by 10 a.m., the crowd had grown to more than 75 people.

After assessing the situation, wildlife officials attempted to tranquilize the bear with a dart. The initial attempt failed however, forcing officials to shoot the bear two more times.

Although the bear became visibly tired, the animal remained stuck in the tree because its left leg remained draped over a branch.

Eventually, a fire truck was driven under the tree, which allowed a wildlife worker to drape a strap over the bear and aid its fall.

At 10:40 a.m., the large animal crashed to the ground, where it was partially caught in a red blanket held by members of the Cortez Fire Department.

The bear was then loaded into a transport vehicle and taken away for relocation.

According to witnesses at the scene, the bear was first spotted in Cortez late Sunday.

The treed bear near the intersection of North Street and Pinon Drive just off of Main Street, Cortez on Monday morning. Enlargephoto

Star Hall/For The Cortez Journal

The treed bear near the intersection of North Street and Pinon Drive just off of Main Street, Cortez on Monday morning.

Felix Monteagudo/For The Cortez Journal

An officer with a dart gun. Enlargephoto

Felix Monteagudo/For The Cortez Journal An officer with a dart gun.

Sam Primeau/The Cortez JournalA boy went to the scene of the treed bear, armed with a toy gun. Enlargephoto

Sam Primeau/The Cortez JournalA boy went to the scene of the treed bear, armed with a toy gun.

Sam Primeau/The Cortez JournalCortez firefighter Alex Archuleta, on the truck, and Dave Harper, of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, on the ladder. Enlargephoto

Sam Primeau/The Cortez JournalCortez firefighter Alex Archuleta, on the truck, and Dave Harper, of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, on the ladder.

Felix Monteagudo/For The Cortez Journal

A rescue worker reaches out to free the bear's paw, stuck on a limb. Enlargephoto

Felix Monteagudo/For The Cortez Journal A rescue worker reaches out to free the bear's paw, stuck on a limb.

Felix Monteagudo/For The Cortez Journal

The bear falls toward waiting law enforcement and fire workers. Enlargephoto

Felix Monteagudo/For The Cortez Journal The bear falls toward waiting law enforcement and fire workers.

Felix Monteagudo/For The Cortez Journal

Workers strain as the bear hits the blanket. Enlargephoto

Felix Monteagudo/For The Cortez Journal Workers strain as the bear hits the blanket.

Felix Monteagudo/For The Cortez Journal

The bear falls spills onto the ground. Enlargephoto

Felix Monteagudo/For The Cortez Journal The bear falls spills onto the ground.

Felix Monteagudo/For The Cortez Journal

The scene at North Street in Cortez. Enlargephoto

Felix Monteagudo/For The Cortez Journal The scene at North Street in Cortez.