Game and Fish staff and Cody police officers inspect an immobilized black bear that firefighters removed from a tree near the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. The severely underweight bear was determined to be dead when taken to the G&F office.

Cody officers and firefighters helped Game and Fish on Friday morning retrieve a small black bear from a tree near the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

G&F Bear Wise coordinator Dusty Lasseter said while the bear had been seen on the ground, it had climbed a tree by the time they reached the scene. They were able to dart the bear, but it climbed higher before the drug took effect and the bear fell asleep.

“We called the fire department to help us get the bear out of the tree,” he said. “It was the safest way.”

The male bear was recovered and Lasseter thanked the police officers and firefighters who assisted. 

“The Cody Police Department did a great job. It was awesome of the Cody fire department volunteers to help us get the bear out of the tree,” Lasseter said. It’s not the usual call, but they were more than happy to help.”

He estimated the bear at 3-4 years old and 90 pounds. Lasseter said it was very underweight for its frame. They realized when the bear had been taken back to the office that it had died.

“We think it asphyxiated (in the tree), or because it was in such poor condition it didn’t properly metabolize the drug,” Lasseter said, adding he expected the bear to weigh 150 pounds or more if healthy.

The bear is being sent to the lab to confirm cause of death.

Lasseter said G&F generally sees on average one black bear per year in Cody.


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