Young bear wanders into Pulaski County manufacturing plant, ends up in the rafters 20 feet off the ground

New River Valley News

PULASKI COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — A young bear wandered into a Pulaski County manufacturing plant and found its way into the high rafters, prompting a response from members of the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) early Friday afternoon.

On Friday, June 4, the DWR says staff from the Wildlife and Law Enforcement divisions were notified about a bear getting into a large manufacturing plant and lodging itself in the building’s rafters about 20 feet off the floor.

Staff members from both DWR divisions responded to the call; assessed the situation; and determined that, given the bear’s location, the chances that it would soon leave on its own in a safe manner were low.

Therefore, based on the plant’s production needs, the staff decided to immobilize the bear and remove it from the area.

With the help of the plant’s lift equipment operators and safety staff, officials say a DWR biologist was lifted into position and safely administered a chemical immobilization dart before the bear was safely lowered from its perch using a forklift and platform.

The bear underwent a physical health check before it was loaded into a carrier and transported to a suitable site for release, according to the department.

“With the great teamwork between DWR Wildlife and Law Enforcement staffs and on-site staff, this operation was conducted safely and effectively for both bear and humans.

DWR would like to emphasize that the first and typical option in most scenarios involving a bear that is treed or has entered a confined space is to ensure the bear has a good escape route and to remove people or pets (if present) a far distance from the animal. Given ample time, once the bear doesn’t feel scared or threatened, it will feel comfortable enough to leave on its own. In this particular situation, the bear was given time to leave, but because of the large number of plant employees on site during the work day, the interruption to plant operations, and potential safety risk to both the bear and humans, DWR determined that safe removal was the best course of action. #workingforwildlife#protectthewild

Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources

For more information about dealing with bears in Virginia, follow this link.

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