OREM (ABC4 News) – Traffic along State Street early Wednesday morning was a real bear. The reason for the delays? A real bear.
“Hey we had a bear right in the middle of downtown Orem,” Scott Root of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said.
It bears repeating.
“Hey, we had a bear right in the middle of downtown Orem!”
Root told ABC4 News the 2-year-old chocolate-colored male black bear was first spotted around 4 a.m.
“Throughout the night it probably just ambled through town enjoying the green vegetation and water and what have you,” Root said.
It eventually made its way to the busiest intersection in town.
“Like people would hang out on the corner of State Street and Center Street, there was a bear,” Root said.
Around 6 a.m. Orem police officers and firemen used their sirens to scare the bear up a tree right next to the police department and City Hall where it kept an eye on the situation below until DWR personnel shot it with a tranquilizer dart and waited with a net until it “fell” fast asleep.
The bear was hauled away and woke up in an undisclosed spot in the Wasatch Mountains where it was released healthy, unharmed and probably now telling its friends that Orem is unbearable.
“There’s some jokes there about it hanging out by the police department,” Root said. “What people don’t know is it actually kind of visited Panda Express and there’s a McDonald’s right there too so that’s my hunch. I think it was following its nose a little bit.”