A black bear’s island tour is over.
The fuzzy tourist was captured early Saturday in Mount Vernon after a suspected journey throughout local waters.
“The bear is scheduled to be released, in the wild, on his own recognizance,” Mount Vernon police wrote in a news release.
Distinctive markings on the bear prompted Fish and Wildlife officers to believe it was the same bear that had been spotted in Island, San Juan and Skagit counties, and that the bear has been swimming from location to location.
“The bear did, however, refuse to identify himself, so positive identification could not be verified” after Saturday’s capture, police wrote.
Officers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife worked with Mount Vernon police and fire departments to keep the bear safe after a tranquilizer brought it down from a tree in the 400 block of North 17th Street, according to a news release from police. It was safely caught in a tarp as it slipped from the tree at about 4 a.m. The Mount Vernon Fire Department assisted in the capture.
Fish & Wildlife officer Ralph Downes said in a text message the plan was to release the bear Saturday in the North Cascades.
The male bear has been spotted on Camano, Whidbey, Fidalgo, Orcas, San Juan, Lopez, Decatur, Blakley and Shaw islands. Local residents, ferry workers and boaters have witnessed and filmed the bear swimming across channels.
The bear was last spotted Friday in Burlington where he climbed a tree behind Home Depot and refused to come down.