MANCHESTER — It was a bearish day on Wall Street — just ask the Fish and Game officers who captured a 140-pound black bear Sunday morning.
“It seemed to be a perfectly normal bear, other than it was a little out of place,” Fish and Game Sgt. Scott LaCrosse said of the bear tranquilized at the intersection of Elm and Wall streets.
The male bear, estimated to be 3 years old, was sighted around 7:30 a.m. Police tracked the animal and contained it until wildlife officials could respond.
“He lay down and looked like he was about to take a nap, so we just kept people away from it and let Fish and Game and the animal control officer do what they do,” Manchester Police Sgt. John Dussault said.
“They come in to scavenge. They typically eat garbage and are shy of people. The only danger would be if people approach the bear,” Dussault said.
Female black bears weigh between 125 and 150 pounds; adult males can weigh up to 250 pounds. The major concern when a bear wanders into an urban area is how it will react if it is stressed, LaCrosse said.
“When they are stressed out, you don't know what their behavior is going to be,” he said noting that when he arrived, police had done a good job of ensuring the public remained a safe distance from the animal.
It is uncommon for a bear to wander into an urban center, though LaCrosse said it happens once or twice a year in New Hampshire. The bear likely smelled food in a Dumpster or from a restaurant's exhaust fan, he said.
“Their habits are generally driven by food. I can just guess it was somewhere not too far from the downtown area,” LaCrosse said. “They are active year-round seeking food.”
LaCrosse said anyone concerned about attracting bears to their back yards should avoid feeding their animals outside and also leave outdoor grills running long enough to burn off grease after cooking.
The bear was tranquilized by the city's animal control officer after it had climbed into a tree. After it received a second dose of tranquilizer, it climbed down from the tree and was captured by Fish and Game officers. The bear was removed and released into the White Mountains, LaCrosse said.
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