MONROE, Wash. – An underweight black bear that was rehabilitated after living off a Redmond family’s bird feeder was released into the wild Thursday afternoon.
The Albertson’s in Monroe served as the meeting spot for a caravan into the Cascades where the bear was released. She let out a growl, which wildlife agents say is a good sound as it shows the bear is still afraid of people even after 3 months in captivity.
In June, officers used a doughnut to lure the 1-year-old bear when they realized she was underweight, and brought her to PAWS for rehabilitation.
“She came in somewhere around 45 pounds when she should have been way up close to 100 pounds,” PAWS Director Jennifer Convy said.
Naturalists reintroduced the bear to her native diet of skunk cabbage and berries, and discovered she doesn’t like radishes or watermelon.
Fish and Wildlife officers drove 60 miles from the PAWS office in Lynnwood into a remote mountainous area along the Cascades.
Officers fired a non-lethal bean bag shot at the animal and shouted, “Get out of here bear!” They say it’s their tough love way of teaching her to stay away from people.
Less than eight seconds after the trap opened the bear had vanished into the wild.
It cost PAWS roughly $3,000 to feed and care for the bear. The organization is holding its annual Big Paws Walk Fundraiser September 6, 2014 at Marymoor Park, which helps raise money for the rehabilitation of wild animals.