Adventurous Bear’s High-rise Misadventure Sparks Citywide Rescue Operation in Utah


In the tranquil early morning hours, amidst the picturesque backdrop of Salt Lake City, Utah, a wandering 2-year-old black bear, found his curious explorations abruptly halted. Having ventured away from the comfort of the familiar mountains, he had strayed into the residential areas, ultimately securing himself a precarious perch high above in a tree.

The local tree-lined streets, sitting near the foot of Utah’s Capitol Hill, witnessed the unusual sight – a bear hanging over the skyline. He drew attention from wildlife officials and onlookers alike, causing much concern. In an effort to provide him a momentary reprieve from their intervention, they tranquilized him.

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Unfortunately, upon losing consciousness, the bear took an unceremonious and hard 20-foot plunge onto the asphalt below. Available officers had been attempting to position a truck to cushion his decent but were unable to secure it in place in time.

The concerted rescue operation involved several city divisions including the fire department and parks, who had earlier provided ladders and buckets in anticipation of deporting the bear from his new-found perch.

However, the delicate operation was fraught with challenges. “We could not deploy the ladders until the bear was tranquilized over concerns of scaring him away,” explained wildlife spokesperson Faith Heaton Jolley.

Once it was safe, the bear was expertly transferred into a cylinder-shaped cage. To speed the bear’s revival, experts administered an antidote to reverse the tranquilizing effects. They also ‘ear-tagged’ the bear for future tracking and observations before his release.

Curious local residents had gathered to observe the out-of-place creature’s ordeal. Seeing the resilient bear make the dramatic descent, the onlookers couldn’t help but wince. Wildlife spokesperson Scott Root acknowledged the resilience of bears, citing their recovery from similar falls in the few past instances where officials couldn’t provide a soft landing.

Root noted that black bears, the solitary bear species found in the Utah region, often emerge from hibernation in mid-March. Despite their close proximity to the city, their visits remain relatively rare. It intrigued Ms.Jolley to speculate on the bear’s motives, observing him being likely in search for food and water away from the dry foothills.

Subsequent to multiple health evaluations conducted by the state’s Division of Wildlife Resources, the adventurous bear was returned to a more suitable habitat later the same day. His brief urban venture came to an end but his presence provided a rare spectacle for the local residents and a powerful reminder of the balance between city life and nature.

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Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.