ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – People in a westside Albuquerque neighborhood were on high alert Thursday morning after a bear was spotted roaming the streets and jumping into backyards.
KRQE News 13 cameras first captured the bear in a front yard on Greene Avenue and Golf Course near Desert Greens Golf Course. KRQE News 13 also got video of it going over multiple fences into backyards.
New Mexico Game and Fish went out around 8:30 a.m. and say they spent hours circling the golf course.
KRQE News 13 first heard about the bear from a woman who says she was just working in the area and spotted it north of the holes. She says she was stunned.
“Definitely surprising, we watched him jump one fence and get over into the golf course so we watched him for a little bit but mostly just surprising to see him in Albuquerque and in the city,” Bethany Cockrum said.
“I think it’s exciting I haven’t seen a bear ya know,” Richard Zakrzewski, who lives in the area, said.
Zakrzewski is no longer puzzled by what may have romped through his yard recently. Game and Fish thinks the bear had been in town for several days but wasn’t spotted until Thursday.
“The courtyard was a complete mess, the waterfall was down, all the goldfish were eaten,” he said.
Around 11 a.m. Game and Fish officers finally caught up with the energetic fella and tranquilized him, but it took two darts and a lot of waiting due to the size of the bear.
“I was home working, yeah but I wasn’t aware there was a bear in my backyard,” Mike Godin said. “My dog was inside at the time sleeping thankfully.”
Albuquerque Public Schools also sent out an alert letting parents know that nearby schools weren’t letting students out until the bear was found. That included alerts to Cibola and Volcano Vista high schools.
“I called Game and Fish [sic] and Animal Control and then they called the cops as well… just to get whoever we could there as fast as we can, just with school starting and kids are out and so that’s a little bit concerning too,” Cockrum said.
Game and Fish believes the bear is a 2-year-old male that likely followed an arroyo all the way from the Sandias.
It will be relocated to the Santa Fe National Forest. They say it’s the first time this bear has been spotted where it shouldn’t be, it’s considered a ‘first time offender.’