PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A black bear that made its way into the backyard of a Pawtucket home over the weekend is back where it belongs.
Witnesses told 12 News they saw the bear roaming around on Sunday before it climbed a tree on Jutras Street, where it stayed for about two hours. According to the R.I. Department of Environmental Management, the first caller said the bear swiped a steak off their grill.
The DEM and Pawtucket police responded and asked people to stay inside with their pets. Due to the density of the neighborhood, the decision was made to tranquilize the bear before moving it.
The DEM estimated the male bear was two to three years old and weighed around 170 pounds. The bear fell about 15 feet from the tree after it was tranquilized, but the DEM assured it was checked out and suffered no injuries.
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Biologist Morgan Lucot said a fall like that won’t hurt a bear.
“He’s got so much padding,” Lucot explained, “but the other thing to remember is that because he was slightly sedated — he was still not fully asleep, but slightly sedated — so all his muscles were relaxed so when he hit the ground. That’s the ideal situation.”
Prior to the bear’s removal, the officers say they clapped and made a lot of noise to make sure the bear did not feel it was welcome in Pawtucket.
They then drove the bear to Buck Hill Management area in Burrillville about a half-hour away. There, environmental officers kept an eye on the bear until it woke up and wandered off.
Anyone who sees a black bear in their yard should report it to the DEM by calling (401) 222-3070.