Treed bear returned to wild

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.

Early in the day on Monday, May 19, a large black bear appeared in a tree near the intersection of North Street and Pinon Drive.

With the help of local law enforcement officials and members of the Cortez Fire Department, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials sedated the animal, which eventually tumbled from the tree.

Soon after, the bear was loaded into a transport vehicle, tagged and released 50 miles north of Cortez.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife Spokesman Joe Lewandowski, the bear was a large male and weighed approximately 350 pounds.

“It is unusual that a bear would be in Cortez, but it’s certainly not unheard of,” said Lewandowski. “Once or twice a year, we get a report of a bear in the area.”

In light of that fact, Lewandowski advised local residents to take special care to secure garbage, food and take birdfeeders inside.

“This time of year, bears are out wandering around,” said Lewandowski. “We want people to pay attention to what they are doing around town and in rural subdivisions.”

In the event that a bear is spotted in town or near a subdivision, residents are advised to contact local law enforcement officials or the Colorado Parks and Wildlife.