The Albany Bear Climbed a Tree Near My House – And I had to Watch!
"If you guys need any volunteers, I'll go up there and get him down now...I ain't scared!" a drunk guy next to me shouted at police and animal control while they were trying to get a bear down from a tree in Albany.
That's how I knew I was in my hood, and this was going to be an interesting afternoon!
The Albany Bear captivated many for hours on Tuesday after it was first spotted - early in the morning - wandering near Washington Park in Albany. It's not every day that a bear makes its way into this part of town!
Hours later, he was spotted up in a tree inside the park on State St. just north of the main entrance into the park from Henry Johnson Blvd.
I live like 3 blocks away, so when I finished at the GNA studio, I went home, grabbed my binoculars, and walked down to see if I could catch a glimpse of the meandering mammal. It was around 12:30 pm.
A few blocks up the street, I could see a large crowd gathering in the vicinity of where the bear was, as well as a slew of people from the DGS, DEC, Albany Police and I think Albany fire was there too with the ladder.
Crowd control wasn't much of an issue - a very stern - yet polite woman (think Melissa McCarthy) was keeping me and all the others at bay.
The man who had too much to drink asked to borrow my binoculars and I handed them to him, immediately wishing I hadn't. Again he shouted to the DEC, complaining that he couldn't get closer. Melissa McCarthy shouted back at him - threatening to remove him.
But all I wanted were my binoculars back, they were expensive. Plus, the man didn't smell too pleasant and when the tipsy observer eventually calmed down, I got 'em back.
In fairness, I got hollered at probably 3 three times by her and others because I kept trying to creep closer to catch a good look.
With my binoculars, I could see movement, and only occasionally the bear's face and claws as he maneuvered up and down nervously on the sturdy tree branches.
At around 1 PM, I watched the wayward bear get pelted with a tranquilizer dart through my binoculars, and thought he would immediately fall. But he didn't - he laid down on branches and appeared to take a little snooze - while animal rescue gathered about 20 feet under him with a net, hoping to catch his fall.
After about an hour in the heat - and dealing with some of Albany's finest onlookers- I decided I had enough and went home. The bear was chillin' and animal control told us it could be a while before he fell to the ground.
As soon as I walked in the door, I saw online that the bear had "safely" had fallen out of the tree, and this big boy was ready to catch a ride back to the Catskills.
A happy ending for sure. Shout out to everyone involved who worked to get this bear down safely. As I said, he was a big boy, and they handled the situation well.
As for the relatively unruly bystander who "ain't scared", he's still waiting for someone to take him up on his offer to help.
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