A young black bear was removed from a tree located on the Coconino Community College Lone Tree Campus Monday afternoon.
Two Flagstaff Fire Department units and the Flagstaff Police Department's Animal Control officer were dispatched to assist Arizona Game and Fish with the bear's removal. Campus security was on hand to keep people away from the bear while Guardian Medical Transport was called to offer medical assistance if needed.
Game and Fish has received a surge of calls about bears in urban areas this season. Before the recent monsoons, a lack of food and water was driving juvenile bears into towns in search of food.
Fire Department Captain Jared Saylor said Game and Fish was originally alerted about a bear in the vicinity of Interstate 40. FFD was able to lure the bear into a location more suitable for a rescue; the bear ended up climbing a tree near South Lone Tree Road and East Zuni Drive.
Game and Fish officers tranquilized the bear, who fell from the tree and was caught in a tarp set up by fire crews. The 2-year-old, 70-pound animal landed in the tarp safely without it hitting the ground. According to Game and Fish, the organization will evaluate the animal and has plans to move it to a safe location outside of the city.
Saylor said he could not recall a situation similar to this during his tenure at the Flagstaff Fire Department and said that being asked to assist with a bear removal was a "once in a career call."