Bear climbs tree to avoid dog, falls asleep
Sadie knows an interloper when she sees one.
So when the black Labrador retriever detected a stranger in her back yard she sent up an alert in the only way she knows how.
Sadie barked like crazy.
It was a black bear; a real one, not some Halloween hanger-on in a costume.
By the time Sadie's owner, Frances Vinsant, was able to look around, the young, 50-pound bear was halfway up a large pine tree in the Vinsants' fenced back yard.
How the yearling bear got into the yard is anybody's guess, but by the time Blount County Sheriff's Office deputies arrived the bear was apparently blissfully snoozing on a branch about 40 feet off the ground.
Jeff Pearce, a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer summoned to the scene, mindful of a bear attack on a woman last weekend in Gatlinburg, Tenn., decided to tranquilize the bear and remove it to a remote location to be set free. Pearce summoned help from his colleague, Curt Henderson, who arrived with a gas-powered rifle to fire the tranquilizer dart.
Dart No. 1 hit the tree. But the second dart found the bear.
The startled bear then climbed about 10 feet further up the tree to near the top, lay down on a branch and promptly took a chemically induced nap.
So here's the situation: Bear full of whoopee juice is high in a tree and showing no sign of complying with the law of gravity, while deputies and wildlife officers are getting sore necks trying to see what the animal is up to.
Well, if you want to get something out of a tree, you shake it, right?
So Deputy Sam McCroskey climbed halfway up and began to shake the foot-in-diameter trunk to dislodge the bear.
He climbed a little higher while one of his colleagues went to a neighbor's house to obtain a swimming pool net pole with which to give the sleeping bear a nudge.
Stretching high and poking carefully, McCroskey separated the bear from its lofty napping couch, and down it came through the branches and pinecones to the grassy yard below.
Pearce administered a booster shot of tranquilizer to make sure it wouldn't awaken quite yet, and the officers carried it to a waiting cage trap.
Safely in the cage, the bear will be checked out physically and taken to a remote area that Pearce declines to identify, where it will be set free.
But after so much excitement, who can hibernate?
Labels: dog news