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Black Bear Falls Safely From Tree After Being Tranquilized In Paramus

PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A black bear climbed in a tree in Bergen County, New Jersey and nestled in the branches for a while Wednesday, before state Fish and Wildlife officers brought it down.

The bear was first spotted in Washington Township at around 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Bear in tree in Paramus
Bear in tree in Paramus (Washington Township PD)

The bear reemerged just before 9 a.m. Wednesday in a tree in a backyard on the Paramus side, police said.

Animal control and wildlife officers shot the 1-year-old bear with a tranquilizer gun to get him out of the tree, CBS2's Esha Ray reported.

With one shot of the tranquilizer, the bear fell out of the tree and safely to the ground.

"Most bears usually get the sense that they shouldn't be in this area. There's no food. There's no places to hide," said Paramus Senior Animal Control Officer Carol Tyler. "This one got the wrong impression."

It took a team of police officers, animal control, and state Fish and Wildlife officials to bring down the 119-pound cub. They put out a big black net and wrapped it around the trunk of the tree to catch the bear when he fell.

"He used the paw that was injured, so we know it's not badly injured," Tyler said. "He just has a little bruising and a little swelling in that paw, but he's walking on it; using it."

The bear was apparently wandering around the past few days in Paramus. The cub climbed up the Wednesday morning when police finally tried to approach.

The bear was up the tree for three hours, hanging onto the limbs. Neighbors said it was an unusual sight to see.

"I've lived here 50 years. Never had a bear in our front property," said neighbor Thelma Singer, "and my only thought is you never know what's going to happen to you, and you're always ready for new experiences -- and this certainly was."

"It's crazy," said neighbor Max Lillo. "I didn't think there was going to be a bear here after finals."

Even the police officer who first responded to the call on Stella Court said he has never seen a bear in a tree before.

"My first time," said Paramus police Officer Robert Sobocinski. "I can't speak to the history of the department, but as far as I know, it's the first time I've seen a bear in a tree."

But wildlife officials said, in fact, bears in trees are quite common in Paramus this time of year. The bear that went up the tree was heading south, maybe looking for food.

After the bear fell, he was placed in a green container and taken away by police.

A bear caused a stir in Paramus this morning... Read more:

Posted by CBS New York on Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Now that the bear is in good hands, he will be treated and released onto safer land out in western New Jersey.

A bipedal bear nicknamed Pedals was also spotted in the town of Oak Ridge earlier this week. The bear appeared to be in relatively good health and was moving briskly in a video posted to Facebook featuring the bear. The man who posted the video wrote that he spotted the bear Monday.

Pedals apparently has an injured leg or paw that doesn't allow it to walk comfortably on all fours, according to experts.

Lawrence Hajna, spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said officials expect the bear to make it through next winter.

"The bear has an indomitable spirit," Hajna said.

Pedals first gained fame after it was spotted ambling around neighborhoods and was caught on videos that were posted on social media and shown on national television.

Last year, supporters pushed for Pedals to be moved to a sanctuary in New York state, but New Jersey officials have said they won't allow the bear to be captured and transferred to the facility. Hajna said at the time that the bear would do better in its natural habitat and the agency would step in if its condition deteriorated.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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