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Police, firefighters and state wildlife officers joined forces Friday evening in Napa to rescue a bear that became stranded in a tree for several hours, according to authorities.

At 5 p.m., a resident in the 2700 block of Beard Road near Pueblo Avenue reported seeing a bear on private property, according to Sgt. Pete Piersig of Napa Police. When Napa County animal control officers arrived and found the animal, they sought aid from Napa Police along with a county trapper and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

However, the bear fled to a tree east of the Pinecrest Apartments in the 2700 block of Cooper Court and climbed to the height of a building’s second floor, Piersig said in a news release. A gathering crowd of residents and onlookers prevented the bear from returning to the ground and instead caused it to climb even higher, despite attempts to keep spectators away, according to Piersig.

As night fell, a Fish and Wildlife warden and biologist arrived, and officers decided for safety reasons to tranquilize the bear and remove it from the neighborhood, Piersig said.

Using the extended ladder of a Napa Fire truck, the Fish and Wildlife biologist was able to fire a tranquilizer dart at the animal to put it to sleep, according to Piersig. The bear’s fall was slowed by tree branches and then by an aluminum shed, which was crushed and destroyed.

Fish and Wildlife staff removed the bear from the Cooper Court area and released it to an undisclosed location at 1:30 a.m. Saturday after determining it was unhurt, Piersig said. It was not immediately known how or why the animal entered the neighborhood.

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City of Napa/Town of Yountville Reporter

Howard Yune covers the city of Napa and the town of Yountville. He has been a reporter and photographer for the Register since 2011, and previously wrote for the Marysville Appeal-Democrat, Anaheim Bulletin and Coos Bay (Oregon) World.