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The bear that was trapped in an Albany tree was euthanized shortly after arriving in Delmar, while the tranquilizers were still in effect, according to the DEC.
The bear fell to the ground at 12:47 p.m., less than two hours after it was tranquilized with darts and almost a full day after it was first trapped there Tuesday afternoon.
The bear had been hit with two tranquilizer darts, and is believed to have been hit by two motor vehicles the day before.
“Euthanizing a bear is always a last resort,” the DEC said in a statement. “We never want to harm wildlife. We exhaust all possible options first and make a determination if the bears are a threat to public safety.”
However, in this case, the 2-year-old bear suffered “serious injuries” that will necessitate it being put down in the next four hours, according to Larry Bifaro, a DEC wildlife biologist. The bear had previously been tagged twice by wildlife officials, including once in Pennsylvania.
The statement added it is difficult to place black bears in sanctuaries and zoos because most have too many and will not accept more.
DEC had planned to go up in a cherry picker within the hour in another effort to extricate the bear, when he fell to the ground.
About 10 people gathered on Clayton Place across from Rose Court where the bear was cornered.
Speaking at the scene, DEC officials said it would only kill the bear if it is seriously injured. Agency officials believe it was hit twice by motor vehicles Tuesday.
DEC issued a statement Wednesday, stating it has a protocol for dealing with removing bears in an “inappropriate setting” and that killing it is a “last resort.”
Speaking generally, if DEC is unable to coax the bear out, “DEC will try to tranquilize and relocate the bear into more suitable settings such as the Catskills or Adirondacks. DEC tags relocated bears so it can track the bears’ movements. DEC attempts to relocate each nuisance bear at least twice,” the statement read.
“Unfortunately, relocation does not always work and a nuisance bear sometimes travels great distances, as much as 100 miles, to return to food sources in urban and suburban settings. A bear that repeatedly returns to urban and suburban settings will continue to return after each relocation. In these cases, a bear becomes a threat to public safety when it looks for food in populated neighborhood trash cans, bird feeders and other sources.”
The DEC received calls of bear activity over the weekend in Bethlehem. The agency received a call at 6:24 a.m. Tuesday about a bear spotted in Bethlehem in the vicinity of Old Route 9W. The bear reportedly had double ear tags, which means he had previous encounters with wildlife biologists. About 8:45 a.m. a bear was spotted at the toll booth on I-787 at Exit 23. This bear, which reported was hit by a car twice, ran into a wooded area between I-787 and the residential area on Morton Avenue.
On Tuesday afternoon the bear with double ear tags was spotted Rose Court in Albany.
“The bear’s history over the weekend demonstrates it is dangerous bear with a pattern of aggressive behavior and poses a threat to public safety,” the DEC statement read. “Because of his dangerous behavior and injuries already sustained, the most appropriate course of action is to put the bear down.
“DEC officers tracked the bear to a ravine where officers could safely attempt to put the bear down in a secluded area. The wound was not mortal and the bear escaped the ravine and ran up a tree where it remained overnight.”
The DEC plans to tranquilize the bear and then transport it to the DEC’s Wildlife Center in Delmar.