Bear's visit to Farmington cut short by tranquilizer dart

John R. Moses
New Mexico Game & Fish officers removed a tranquilized black bear that had tried to hide out beside the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center at 109 E. La Plata St. in Farmington early Monday afternoon. The sleeping bear was placed in a cage in the bed of the white truck.

FARMINGTON — A young bear kept some Farmington Police and Game & Fish officers busy today after it leapt from a business’ back yard near the Farmington Civic Center to tour the vicinity.

The bear, which eventually treed itself beside the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center, was tranquilized and loaded into a cage in the back of a state vehicle. It was to be returned to the forest.

Game & Fish Navajo Dam District Officer Shaler Wells said the sub-adult black bear weighed about 160 pounds. 

While two bears were initially reported Monday near the intersection of W. Arrington Street and North Allen Avenue, police said they suspect only one bear was in the area.

The bear was discovered by Busy Bee - Art, Yoga and Craft Studio owner Melissa Silversmith Firestone, who posted video on her Facebook page at about 12:40 p.m. showing the bear in her yard.

She told the Daily Times the bear jumped over her fence, a feat she also captured on video. Around 1 p.m. dogs had reclaimed the yard and they seemed wary of visitors.

The bear made its way to the senior center, where emergency responders stood by watching the bear until game officers took it into their care.

By about 1:15 p.m., the bear was on the road and, if things went as planned, heading back to freedom.

A Farmington Police spokesman said there were also reports of some bear activity Sunday night.

John R. Moses is the editor of the Daily Times. Contact him via email at orat 505-564-4624.