I know that is a lot to unpack in that headline, but “bear” with me, and let me explain.
Mother’s always wake up on Mother’s Day expecting the day to be different than normal. Gifts, meals, and in some cases better behavior are all that mothers really ever ask for on their special day.
If a mom happened to ask for a bear to come climb a tree in their front yard, then their strange request was granted in this particular Michigan neighborhood.
Pam Fordyce, a resident living in the neighborhood, explained how those in the area found out about the bear in the tree to her local news station:
“I looked out the window and couldn’t quite figure out why there was so many cars on my street, neighbors were all out, I said ‘Oh, they’re all wishing each other Happy Mother’s Day.
So I came outside and said ‘they’re looking at something,’ and I noticed across the street up in the tree that there was a pretty significantly big bear.”
The 350 pound black bear wandered into a Traverse City, Michigan suburb and climbed almost to the very top of a maple tree just off the street.
After showing off its climbing ability, it unfortunately was unable to exhibit its descending ability, and was determined to be “stuck” by those in the neighborhood.
Videos of the incident show individuals who live in the area coming to the tree to see the black bear up in the tree. I’ve got to say, they seem to be pretty brave to do that.
I probably would’ve kept my distance just in case the bear managed to get down and was upset that it had been stuck for however long it was.
Thanks to that safety concern, officials were called to the area to safely remove the bear from the tree (which is easier said than done). With many in the neighborhood gawking and gazing at the massive bear stuck up in the tree, the Department of Natural Resources officials went to work.
They soon realized that in order to rescue the black bear, they would need something that could raise one of the department officials up so that he could get a clear shot with their tranquilizer gun. Thus, they called upon the Traverse City Light and Power company to borrow a vehicle of theirs that would come in handy:
Steve Griffith, a Wildlife Biologist with DNR, told 9&10 news:
“They showed up with a bucket truck. At that point, they were able to lift me up in the bucket to get pretty close to the bear, to make a very, you know, safe and reliable shot with the dart gun.”
Once the help arrived, Griffith was raised up in the bucket so that he could have clear shot to tranquilize the bear.
The Wildlife Biologist fired four separate tranquilizers into the bear’s butt, with each one slowly making it less powerful and more sleepy.
Speaking of sleepy, at some point during the proceedings, two twin mattresses were placed below the tree in hopes to soften the fall in case the bear fell 30 feet out of the tree.
Officials did their best to create a rope system that would slowly lower the bear, which was clearly “feeling it” after taking four tranquilizers to the ass.
Just as the group looked to be wrapping the ropes around the armpit areas of the black bear, the poor fella finally went fully unconscious and began to free fall down towards the ground.
It is hard to tell whether or not the black bear lands on one of the twin mattresses, but it is very evident that the “land softening zone” should have been bigger. No one in the neighborhood was willing to put their queen or king mattress on the line to save the bear?
It falls not-so-gracefully down to the ground and thuds like… well a 350 pound black bear falling 30 feet out of a maple tree.
The news station reporting on the matter says that the bear was checked out after the fall (has to be in concussion protocol) and was deemed to be fine, though I’d like to know what their definition of “fine” is. The black bear was then relocated and released on state land over 50 miles away from the neighborhood it wandered into.
I’m glad that the bear was okay, and with this being the second “bear falling” video I’ve seen in a matter of a couple of weeks (the other being one falling off a house and boinging off a trampoline), I’ll make sure that I’m on the lookout for more of them.
Not that I want to purposefully put bears up in high places just to watch them fall, but if it does manage to happen organically, I’m here for it (and hoping that someone is recording it).