'Hard' awakening planned for bear found in Fall City garage



FALL CITY, Washington - A bear that kept returning to a Fall City-area man's garage and was trapped overnight and tranquilized Wednesday is scheduled to get a pretty abrupt awakening.

State Department of Fish and Wildlife officers examined the bear and determined a few things: The wear and coloration on the teeth meant it was about 5 or 6 years old. It weighed over 200 pounds. It also turned out to be a "she," not a "he," as was originally thought. 

That wasn't all.

"She's a lactating female, which means she has a cub in the area," Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Kim Chandler said. "We can't take this bear away from the cub, so we're going to do what we call a hard release. Not necessarily right on site, but fairly close."

That "hard release" involves making a lot of noise to scare and chase the bear off. Karelian bear dogs assist with that.

One of the dogs, Indy, is new and got some on-the-job training of sorts Wednesday as it inspected the bear while it was sleeping.