A Bear in Midair! Look, Over There!

I swear.

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Andy Duann / CU Independent / AP

In this photo provided by the CU Independent, a bear falls from a tree after being tranquilized by Colorado wildlife officials at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colo., Thursday, April 26, 2012.

If this were the Olympics, this tumbling bear would get a perfect 10.

The 200-pound black bear had been caught prowling around residence halls at the University of Colorado-Boulder, 30 miles northwest of Denver. Wildlife officials suspect he was rummaging for food but caused no damage on campus. The Thursday romp ended with him stuck up a tree.

“He was pretty mellow. He was resting up on the branch,” campus police spokesman Ryan Huff told 7NEWS Denver. Just after 10 a.m., after the bear had been stuck in the tree for more than two hours, wildlife officials shot him with two tranquilizer darts, putting the bear into a comatose state some 15 feet off the ground.

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Officials worked with campus police to set up mats from the university’s Recreation Center to provide a cushy landing for the bear. After tumbling from the branches above, the bear was ready to be removed from campus. But not before the creature became a local celebrity – thanks, in part, to CU Independent photographer Andy Duann, who snapped this shot just as the bear fell. “It was really a perfect landing,” Huff told the Boulder Daily Camera. Afterward, students clamored to take their picture with the sedated bear, some even daring to touch it. But this was one sleeping bear that wouldn’t be roused until he was miles away from Boulder.

Wildlife officials put the bear into a cage and transferred to a higher elevation Friday in the nearby Rocky Mountains. They aimed to move the bear far enough from human settlements to avoid further run-ins. But the woodsy Boulder campus is no stranger to animal invaders. In October, campus officials had to sedate a mountain lion that was caught prowling around the campus.

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