An 80-pound North American Black Bear was captured in north Peoria this weekend after traveling approximately 40 miles from the Bradshaw Mountains.
Peoria police said at 11:30 p.m. Saturday, a homeowner reported seeing a bear in the front yard of his house at the foot of West Wing Mountain in the 27500 block of North 85th Drive. Peoria Animal Control and patrol officers responded but lost sight of the bear after calling the Arizona Department of Game and Fish.
At 5:30 a.m. Sunday, a caller reported seeing a bear near Peoria’s Sunrise Mountain Public Library on Lake Pleasant Parkway. Patrol officers responded and kept an eye on the bear while they called Game and Fish officials, who tranquilized the bear around 8 a.m., police said.
According to Game and Fish, the bear appears to be a 1½-year-old male who appeared to be in good health.
Game and Fish officials plan to release him into a natural habitat at an undisclosed location in northern Arizona, where his chances of survival are the greatest, police reported.
Typically, officials said, the North American Black Bear would remain with its mother until it was closer to 2 years old.
Police said it is most likely the bear wandered down from the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains.
Bears as young as the one found in Peoria are not typically aggressive unless cornered, police said.