Generally speaking, black bears do not appear near downtown Cortez.
Early in the day on Monday, May 19, however, a large bear was spotted in a tree near the intersection of North Street and Pinon Drive across the street from Southwest Design.
By 8 a.m., members of the Cortez Police Department, Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office, Cortez Fire Department and Colorado parks and Wildlife had arrived at the scene.
By 9 a.m., small groups of curious onlookers gathered, and by 10 a.m., the crowd had grown to more than 75 people.
After assessing the situation, wildlife officials attempted to tranquilize the bear with a dart. The initial attempt failed however, forcing officials to shoot the bear two more times.
Although the bear became visibly tired, the animal remained stuck in the tree because its left leg remained draped over a branch.
Eventually, a fire truck was driven under the tree, which allowed a wildlife worker to drape a strap over the bear and aid its fall.
At 10:40 a.m., the large animal crashed to the ground, where it was partially caught in a red blanket held by members of the Cortez Fire Department.
The bear was then loaded into a transport vehicle and taken away for relocation.
According to witnesses at the scene, the bear was first spotted in Cortez late Sunday.