Close encounter with a black bearPosted: Updated:
QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. -- The images Monday were captivating: a young black bear scrambling across alfalfa fields in Queen Creek, trying to dodge Arizona Game & Fish officers.
Tim Holt, a field supervisor, was among the officers attempting to capture the bear.
"Trying to keep it contained in the alfalfa field and actually push it toward to Game and Fish officers, myself and one more," Holt said.
It was a task that turned out to be quite a challenge.
This all played out near Ellsworth & Pecos Roads in Queen Creek early Monday morning.
"The behaviors this bear exhibited were all normal. They're afraid of people he was running away from people," he said.
And Holt should know. At one point he got up close and personal with the black bear in an attempt to tranquilize him. And while he said he wasn't afraid, but based on the bear's behavior, he was feeling something.
"I'll have to admit it was a lot of adrenaline," said Holt.
He said, for starters, it was a dynamic situation. Between the location and helicopters overhead, there was a lot going on.
His goal he said was to get close enough to tranquilize the bear.
"I can tell that I think I missed, based on the bear's reaction," Holt said.
On Tuesday night, 3TV showed Holt edited video of the encounter. It was only the second time he'd seen the footage.
"To be that close to a beautiful animal like that is just amazing," he said.
On Tuesday there were additional sightings reported, but Game & Fish has not seen the bear since it took off yesterday.
Holt says the best-case scenario would be for the young male to return where he came from on his own.
In the meantime he says he can understand why people are so fascinated by the bear.
"We only get one to two bears a year down here in the Valley," said Holt.