Missoula hotel hosts 3 bears in a tree

MISSOULA COUNTY

POSTED: 9:39 PM Oct 11 2012   UPDATED: 10:23 PM Oct 11 2012
Missoula hotel hosts 3 bears in a tree
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Three black bears spent Thursday afternoon in a tree at a Missoula hotel.

The mama and her two cubs surprised a hotel employee and began a Thursday afternoon saga that brought onlookers, tourists and scientists to the Days Inn at the Wye.

Reporters and photographers were allowed into an upper story room where you could easily see the trio resting in a pine tree.

It all started when one of the cubs said hi to hotel manager Windy Hubbard.

"I felt something nudge the back of my leg and I turned around and it was a bear cub.,"said Hubbard, "And I looked up and the mother was running towards me."

When Windy saw the mother a Days Inn guest intervened.

"I treed the two cubs up there first," said Ron Greber of Missouri, "And then mama come across and I treed her up there too."

"We got some great viewing rooms up there," said Days Inn owner Walter Muralt, "Room 225 and 227."

It's a story to tell everyone back home. Yazeed is a hotel guest from Saudia Arabia.  He found the bears captivating.

"I see the mama bear and two children,"said Yazeed. "It's the first time I see that."

Fish, Wildlife and Parks bear specialists came. They knew these bears were in the area.

"This morning she (the mother) was in someone's back yard feeding on crab apples," said bear manager Jamie Jonkel. "She was probably going to cross the interstate and get down to the river."

Scientists drugged the bears with a long hypodermic needle.

The animals fell into a net draped over huge numbers of pillows that the Days Inn hotel  provided to cushion the animals' fall.

Wildlife specialist Bob Weisner climbed the tree after one baby bear was tranquilized and got hung on branches. He helped the animal down.

The bears will be relocated to an area where there is good forage. The bears are in the process of eating as much as they can to prepare for hibernation.