7/18/2023: UPDATE 11:30 A.M. ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – The black bear that was rescued from a tree in Market Square in Downtown Roanoke on Monday, July 17th has now been euthanized.
The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources says that although the bear looked like a cub, it was in fact at least a year old and was extremely malnourished.
Paige Pearson with DWR told WFXR the yearling was only 35 pounds and was “not thriving.” It keep “coming back downtown” and was “causing a problem.” It likely would not have been able to be rehabilitated or reintroduced back into the wild and that euthanization was necessary.
7/17/2023: UPDATE 6:48 P.M. ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – After more than two hours, Roanoke crews rescued a bear cub from a tree in Roanoke’s Market Square.
Roanoke Police say around 4 p.m. they got calls about a cub climbing a tree right outside Center in the Square. Earlier, a mother bear had been in the Luck Avenue area but left downtown on its own. Police say they believe the cub ran down Campbell Avenue before hiding in the tree.
Just after 6:30 p.m. after sedating the cub, firefighter Jake Perry climbed a ladder into the tree to grab the cub.
Crews at the scene saw authorities carrying guns that police later explained were “less lethal” guns, often used to dissuade attackers, but in this case, they were a cautionary tool to keep the cub contained.
Police say they aren’t aware of any injuries sustained by the cub, who was taken away by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. They told police they would evaluate the bear and decide what to do with him from there.
Police add they’re ready to handle the mother if she comes back looking for her cub.
Roanoke Police were aided by Roanoke Fire/EMS, Conservation Police, and the Department of Wildlife Resources.
7/17/2023: ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – The Black Bear has currently climbed a tree on Campbell Ave’s Market Square in Downtown Roanoke.
Police have the area taped off as they continue to handle the situation.
WFXR News will continue to update you with new information as it is released.
7/17/2023: ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Roanoke Police are warning people to avoid downtown after a bear was spotted in the area on Monday, July 17th.
Police say the Animal Warden Unit is on the scene and currently monitoring the bear in the downtown Roanoke Area. They have been in contact with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Do not attempt to approach and/or feed the animal.