RENTON, Wash. - Department of Fish and Wildlife officers had to make a tough choice Monday night to leave a mother bear perched in a tree while taking away her injured cub.
The bears were first spotted about 60 feet up around 2 a.m. in the neighborhood of Southeast 102nd Street and 148th Avenue Southeast.
"It's sort of sad she's up there and didn't want to come down. I hope it all goes okay," said neighbor Claudia Donnelly.
Wildlife officials say onlookers gathering to get a peek at the bear weren't helping.
"There have been people here all day and it's been a negative thing for the bears. They felt threatened and won't come out of the tree," said Bruce Richards, Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.
Since the tree sits near a school bus stop, residents and wildlife officers became concerned.
"There was some school kids getting under the tree over here and the little cub got upset. The momma bear was really getting excited. I thought she might come down," said neighbor Ed Horne.
The cub was eventually tranquilized. Unfortunately, the dart hit him just as he was climbing. As the drugs took effect, he fell and broke his jaw. It's expected to live, but may need to go to the vet for a few weeks.
Since the mother bear likely has another cub in the area, Fish and Wildlife officers made a tough choice to leave her with baby number two - separating her from her injured cub. It's unclear if the two will ever be reunited.
Wildlife officers say the best advice to avoid this situation is to make your property bear-proof. Don't leave out food or garbage that will attract animals.