Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dangling bear rescued from California bridge ledge

Bear1cl4A 250-pound bear stranded under a bridge near Lake Tahoe was saved by an army of rescuers, a tranquilizer dart and a nylon net bought at an Army surplus store.

It was walking across the span on Highway 40 near Donner Summit in the Sierra Nevada when at least two oncoming cars spooked it, causing it to jump over the railing.

At one point it was dangling over the edge of the 80-foot-high bridge, but it caught a ledge and pulled itself onto a concrete girder beneath the bridge.

Officials initially decided nothing could be done, but when they returned the next morning and found it sleeping on the ledge, they decided to take action.

Volunteers strung the net beneath the bridge and an animal control officer shot the bear with a tranquilizer dart.

Bear2ar9After the bear lost consciousness, volunteers used a pole to push it into the net, then lowered the bear onto the floor of the granite-strewn ravine as more than 100 spectators cheered.

With slideshow and news video.


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