It was a short stay in Staples for a bear that wandered into town and climbed into a tree in a residential neighborhood, it was learned Tuesday.
The bear was believed to have entered Staples from woods south or west of the city limits. It was found in a tree on Dakota Street at 1:30 a.m. Monday. Staples police barricaded a two-block area around the home of Judy Borg, in whose tree the bear had climbed, yet a large crowd gathered on the perimeter to get a glimpse of the bear.
"I think the whole town of Staples was there," said Jeff Christy, Borg's son-in-law.
Staples Police Chief Kyle Huber said the bear wouldn't have come down on its own because of the large crowd. He called in Tank's Capture and Quarantine Service, on Highway 210 west of Pillager, to tranquilize the bear. Gary Tank, owner of the service, was joined by Kathy Marcussen of Staples Veterinary Clinic in sedating the bear.
At 4:30 p.m. Monday Tank shot the bear three times with tranquilizers. It slowly climbed down from its perch 30 feet off the ground, lost its grip and fell the final 10 feet, destroying several lawn ornaments. The bear staggered to its feet, stumbled through several neighboring yards and entered the street, where it collapsed. Four men pulled the 390-pound bear into a cage. He was hauled to an undisclosed location and allowed to rest overnight.
DNR Conservation Officer Jeff Halverson said tranquilizing the bear was safer than shooting it because of all the people in the area. Allowing it to come down after dark was another option that was decided against.
"He might have gotten scared and taken a swipe at somebody," Halverson said.
The bear was released Tuesday morning on state land north of Staples.
"He was back to his old self, growling and ornery," Halverson said. "We opened the door and away he went."
Thus ending the saga of the bear that visited Staples.
VINCE MEYER can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5862
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