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Tacoma’s wandering bear was caught sightseeing. Here’s where he’s going

A young bear that appeared in western Pierce County in recent days was successfully captured Wednesday in Lakewood, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and Lakewood police.

The young male bear was tranquilized after climbing a tree in the yard of a home in the Lakeview area, according to WDFW. He was found to be in good health and taken into custody.

Initially, WDFW monitored the situation until the bear began interacting with people or an opportunity presented itself to capture it. The latter occurred Wednesday around 11:30 a.m. after a resident reported the presence of a bear on his property.

“(WDFW) personnel were on scene, ready to respond,” WDFW spokeswoman Jennifer Becar said.

Lakewood police spokesman Capt. Jeff Alwine said the bear was eventually located in the 10300 block of 47th Avenue Southwest.

Ryan McNiff, WDFW wildlife conflict specialist, sprays a tranquilized bear Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in a Lakewood yard.  The water helps the bear maintain a comfortable body temperature during transport to its new territory in the North Cascades.Ryan McNiff, WDFW wildlife conflict specialist, sprays a tranquilized bear Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in a Lakewood yard.  The water helps the bear maintain a comfortable body temperature during transport to its new territory in the North Cascades.

Ryan McNiff, WDFW wildlife conflict specialist, sprays a tranquilized bear Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in a Lakewood yard. The water helps the bear maintain a comfortable body temperature during transport to its new territory in the North Cascades.

Tacoma residents Amy Mayster and Molly Asmussen were following the bears’ saga via Ring doorbell videos. They went to the neighborhood Wednesday morning.

Mayster said wildlife staff tried to coax or scare the bear from the tree.

“They tried to put the bear down for about an hour,” Mayster said.

Eventually, the two men said, an official climbed onto a roof and from there shot the bear with the tranquilizer dart.

Still, the women said, the now-tranquilized bear remained in the tree, prompting an officer to climb the tree and push the bear down.

The bear appeared to be a novelty to residents and responders, both men said.

“They started taking selfies with it before they went out,” Asmussen said. “They thought it was pretty cool, I guess.”

The bear was loaded into a metal shipping container after its health assessment.

“It’s being moved out of the Tacoma area to better-suited habitat in the North Cascades,” Becar said.

Becar said the bear did not need to be euthanized because it had not become accustomed to humans.