DANBURY, Conn. – News of a bear in a tree just off Main Street reached Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton at about 7 a.m. Tuesday.
That launched a four-hour ordeal in which the Danbury police and fire departments, along with officials from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, tried to move the 275-pound black bear from the downtown tree.
"We used a mixture of just tranquilizing drugs that basically puts the bear to sleep so it’s safe for us to relocate the bear,” said Officer Nick Mifosky of the State Environmental Conservation Police.
Boughton tweeted that the bear needed to be shot with the tranquilizers twice before going down.
The bear was 2 to 3 years old, wildlife biologist Paul Rego said. He described the bear as a young adult male who was wondering on his own. He added that there is no concern that a mother bear would come looking for the young bear.
“We’ll release it into an undeveloped state forest, possibly water company, but they don’t stay there very long, so it will keep moving,” Rego said.
To get the bear down from the tree, police worked with the state biologists to rig a net to help him slide down from the branch where he was sitting and eating. The bear was not injured on its way out of the tree, Boughton told the crowd of people who had gathered across the street.
“So it worked out well, the DEEP staff has been phenomenal, the firefighters have done a terrific job and the police officers as well,” Boughton said. “In a world where we hear about all kinds of horrors happening, this is one where the good guys get something done.”
As for how the bear got into the tree in the first place, “I assume a car or a person scared it,” Rego said.
Boughton, known for his love of Twitter @MayorMark, reached a new level of celebrity for his Tweets about the bear. The website BuzzFeed had a good time recounting Boughton's words in a story headlined "Connecticut Mayor Wages Courageous One-Man Twitter War Against Not-Quite-Rampaging Bear." Check out its story here.
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