BROOKLINE (CBS) – The black bear that created a great deal of excitement in Brookline Tuesday was in fact the return of the famous Cape Cod bear.
The new mystery began just after sunrise when the 200-pound bear climbed about 50 feet up a large pine tree in Sherry Leventhal’s yard on Pine Road in Chestnut Hill and started to take a nap.
“I saw him run across the yard and I went ‘Oh my God,'” she said, adding that he appeared to be “scared to death.”
Environmental police and a tree service company were brought in to get the two-year-old bear down safely as a crowd started to gather around Leventhal’s property.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports
After two hours in the tree, it was shot with a tranquilizer dart.
It scampered up higher into the tree, then the sedative kicked in and he fell 80 feet down to the ground, breaking several branches along the way.
“He actually had a branch clasped to his hand that he tried to catch on the way down,” Police Chief Daniel O’Leary told WBZ-TV.
The bear was not hurt in the fall, but he was awake and groggy on the ground. It was tranquilized a second time and then loaded onto a truck.
That’s when authorities noticed the bear had two tags on its ears, meaning it had been captured in the past.
After checking their records Tuesday afternoon, wildlife officials confirmed the bear is the same one that wandered across the Cape earlier this summer before it was captured and moved to western Massachusetts.
He was taken back to the same area Tuesday afternoon and released back into the wild.
The Brookline scene is about three miles from where a bear was seen Monday in Needham.
Authorities said it could be the same bear, because none of the witnesses in Needham got close enough to see if that bear was tagged.
Watch: video of the fall
So why have there been so many bear sightings in eastern Massachusetts lately?
“Right now you have young males that are off on their own for the very first time. They’re the ones that travel really far distances from where their mothers live and so, basically, they’re completely inexperienced, totally naïve to how things go and are out there just looking for a place to set up shop,” Bear biologist Laura Conley of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife told WBZ.
It’s also breeding season.
The state’s bear population has been rising eight-percent a year since the 1970’s.