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Tranquilized bear rescued from tree released back into the wild

Posted at 10:15 PM, May 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-20 19:35:02-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- The bear spotted in a Chesterfield County tree was captured after crews shot it with a tranquilizer dart.

Police responded to the Great Oaks Subdivision after reports of a bear up a tree Thursday night.

"I've been working for 36 years and we've never had anything like this," Lt. Bobby Burnette of Chesterfield Fire and Rescue said.

Witnesses said the bear climbed up a tree a yard along the 5200 block of Oakforest Drive.

The bear escaped from an initial tree, disappeared for a bit, and was then discovered up another tree on Rollingway Road.

"A policeman got a rifle out of his car and that scared me," Virginia Terry, who lives on Oakforest Drive, said.

Chesterfield Police said they were working with Animal Control and the Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries to get someone with equipment to capture and relocate the bear.

Police asked neighbors to go inside and take their pets with them.

District Wildlife Biologist Aaron Proctor will help relocate the bear to a safer environment.

"Think of them as a teenage bear," Proctor said, "He's looking to find his own territory, his mom has kicked him out, trying to find his own home range, trying to find food, and it's mating season as well."

The bear was taken to the western part of the state and released in the mountains Friday.