updated 5/22/2006 2:09:01 PM ET 2006-05-22T18:09:01

When police were called to handle a rowdy young male around Greek Row just north of the University of Washington early Sunday, it had nothing to do with students. The problem was a marauding bear.

They tried to capture the black bear alive after finding him underneath the back deck of a home in the Ravenna Park neighborhood, a few blocks north of the fraternity and sorority houses, but he died after being jolted with stun guns and hit with tranquilizer darts.

More than two dozen city and university police officers responded and state wildlife personnel joined in the chase through back yards, over fences and down driveways for more than an hour late Saturday night and early Sunday.

"This was not Winnie the Pooh looking for a way back to the three-acre wood," state Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Kim Chandler told The Seattle Times. "This was a 150-pound wild black bear — and trying to find his way out of the U District, I guess. I don't think he even knew how he got there. I certainly don't."

'He was just trying to get away'
The bear, apparently about 3 years old, leaped over a fence and fled across garage roofs and fences after being hit by a tranquilizer dart loaded with powerful drugs, and an electrical jolt from a police Taser gun slowed down the animal only briefly, Chandler said.

"He wasn't out to eat everybody. He was just trying to get away," the 30-year wildlife veteran said.

Police finally cornered the animal on a sidewalk and fired another Taser. Chandler administered another tranquilizer dart and the bear died soon afterward.

"We did everything that we could less than lethal — the drugs, the Taser. I think that combination just didn't work out right," Chandler said.

"I think everyone was extremely disappointed at the particular outcome, that we weren't able to have the bear relocated, but our mission is safety — public safety," police Officer Sean Whitcomb said. "A bear out in Seattle, it's just not a good combination."

Two bears north of city?
Fish and Wildlife agents believe the bear could have been one of two that were seen Friday in the Shoreline area, north of the city. They speculated that he traveled south at night and slept during the day.

Chandler said he was not that surprised to be awakened at home to deal with a bear in the city.

"I have learned over the years, never to say never. If people say they've got a bear in my backyard, I have to believe them," Chandler said.

Not so for Gary Jackson, who lives half a block from where the bear was cornered.

"You hear about bears in Issaquah," a suburb about 15 miles east of the downtown area, Jackson said. "That's where they live, but this close into the city you don't expect it."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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