Black bear spotted roaming around Tacoma captured, will be relocated

May 15, 2024, 7:04 AM | Updated: May 16, 2024, 6:18 am

bear tacoma...

A photo of the black bear roaming around Tacoma, taken by a KIRO 7 viewer. (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

A black bear that was spotted wandering around Tacoma in recent days is now on his way to the North Cascades.

Reports about the bear had been coming into the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) for several days. It was most recently spotted in Titlow Park, south of Point Defiance Park, and near the Tacoma Narrows Bridge along the water. A KIRO 7 viewer sent in a photo of the young black bear.

“In this case, we did not immediately set out to try to capture this bear,” WDFW spokesperson Jennifer Becar said. “Our hope is that it would move out of the area on its own.”

But it didn’t. Instead, it ended up in a tree in the backyard of a home in Lakewood.

That’s where WDFW workers used a tranquilizer to capture him. The bear was put into a cage-like contraption called a culvert trap.

“They’ll hitch that to a truck and then the whole rig will drive out to the mountains — open up the door, and out goes the bear,” Becar said.

Video of bears in Seattle: Flock of ducks become accidental afternoon meal for Woodland Park Zoo bears

She added it’s not uncommon for young bears to wander, sometimes into urban areas, in the spring.

“This time of year these young adults are often last year’s offspring that are now at an age where they’re ready to take off and find their own place in the world and sometimes that ends up with them taking a wrong turn and they end up in Lakewood,” Becar said.

Becar said the bear has been tagged, so they’ll know if he comes back to town.

She said it’s easier to relocate bears if they don’t get use to hanging around in people’s backyards, looking for easy food.

“Things like our garbage cans, our pet food, our bird feeders — all of that is very tasty and very attractive to a black bear,” she said.

More on bears in the state: Grizzly bears to return to Washington despite opposition

WDFW doesn’t think this bear had time to become too accustomed to being around people, so they’re hopeful he’ll stay put in the North Cascades.

There were no negative encounters with people, according to KIRO 7.

Contributing: Frank Sumrall, MyNorthwest; KIRO 7

Heather Bosch is an award-winning anchor and reporter on KIRO Newsradio. You can read more of her stories here. Follow Heather on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her here.

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Black bear spotted roaming around Tacoma captured, will be relocated