Black bear surprises Gilbertsville homeowners

Officials from the State Game Commission shot a black bear with a tranquilizer dart in a residential neighborhood of Gilbertsville, Pa. on June 4, 2011. They say the bear was not injured and was released back into the wild in north-central Pennsylvania.

June 7, 2011 12:41:50 PM PDT
A black bear was an unwelcome guest in a residential neighborhood of Gilbertsville, Montgomery County.

Local authorities say they chased the animal through town for approximately two hours before he ran up a tree on Municipal Drive right around 11:00 p.m. Sunday night.

That tree is located in the backyard of 84-year-old Walter Rhoads who wishes the bear was a little more careful while making his way up those branches.

"He ruined the three bird feeders, but we can repair or replace them," Rhoads said.

Officials from the State Game Commission then arrived and shot the bear with a tranquilizer dart.

In no time, he started dozing off and fell approximately 20 feet to the ground.

Authorities on the scene, who describe this black bear as approximately 3 years old and about 200 pounds, say he appeared to be uninjured and otherwise healthy.

Meantime, Gilbertsville Fire Chief Rick Smith says his department has received some wild calls in the past, but this one takes the cake.

"We've been out with all kinds of animals, horses, cows, birds, you name it, but this is the first time we assisted with a bear," Chief Smith said.

The Game Commission has confirmed that the bear was not injured and, earlier Monday evening, he was released back into the wild somewhere in North-Central Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rhoads says he just hopes the bear never shows up in his backyard again.