A black bear’s island-hopping days ended — at least temporarily — after its capture early Saturday in Mount Vernon.
Officers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife worked with Mount Vernon police and fire departments to keep the bear safe after a tranquilizer brought it down from a tree in the 400 block of North 17th Street, according to a news release from police. About 4 a.m., Mount Vernon police initially responded to reports of the bear on the 700 block of East College Way.
“The bear is scheduled to be released, in the wild, on his own recognizance” later Saturday, police wrote in the release.
Distinctive markings on the bear prompted Fish and Wildlife officers to believe it was the same bear that had been spotted in Island, San Juan and Skagit counties, and that the bear has been swimming from location to location.
“The bear did, however, refuse to identify himself, so positive identification could not be verified” after Saturday’s capture, the release reads.
Last week, The (San Juan) Islands’ Sounder reported a male bear in search of a female had been spotted on Camano, Fidalgo, Orcas, Shaw and Whidbey islands. A ferry worker witnessed the bear swimming across the channel to San Juan Island, according to the newspaper.
The island-hopping bear was last spotted Friday in Burlington, according to Mount Vernon police.