Fish and Wildlife officers remove bear spotted in Monroe neighborhood

Fish and Wildlife officers remove bear spotted in Monroe neighborhood

MONROE, Wash. — A bear caught roaming near a residential area in Monroe was tranquilized and removed by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officers.

The Monroe Police Department said it received a report about 7:40 a.m. Wednesday that a black bear was seen sitting in a grassy area near Sawyer Street SE and 171st Avenue SE.

Officers who responded to the call located the bear and followed it until Fish and Wildlife officers arrived.

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The bear, described as weighing 200 to 300 pounds with an obvious injury to one of its legs, was reported to police earlier in the week, law enforcement officials said.

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Fryelands Elementary School, which is the area, was also alerted about the bear and was advised to take precaution.

Fish and Wildlife officials warn that bears are coming out of torpor, a sleep that is described as a lowered body temperature and metabolic activity.

In late February, KIRO 7 asked Sgt. Kim Chandler, a Fish and Wildlife official who tracks bear sightings in King County, why bears were moving around then. He said, "What's confusing to a lot of folks is bears don't hibernate. Hibernation is a word thrown out there a lot but it's not a true hibernation for bears. They go to sleep and in a torpor. They just kind of slow down their metabolism and don't eat.”

Wildlife officials are warning residents to be responsible with their trash and bird feeders and not leave them out, which eliminates a food source for bears.