Posted: Oct 11, 2012 5:59 PM by Bernie Riggs - KPAX News
Updated: Oct 11, 2012 8:01 PM
MISSOULA- The Days Inn at the Wye, off I-90 near Muralt's Travel Plaza, had some unusually furry guests on Thursday when a mother black bear and two cubs became stuck in a tree outside the building.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials darted the bears from the second story of the Days Inn, and used hundreds of old hotel pillows to help make the descent a little more comfortable.
One 50-pound male cub was caught in a net while the 150-pound mother was given a mild dose so she held on longer and lessened her fall. The remaining sister cub was much higher in the tree and so snug that a member of FWP had to climb up the tree, put a rope around her and help hoist her safely down.
Windy Hubbard, the Days Inn manager, said it all started when she was standing outside and felt something nudge the back of her leg.
"And I turned around and it was a bear cub and I looked up and the mother was coming towards me so I ran into the hotel," she said with a laugh.
FWP bear manager Jamie Jonkel said his crews had been tracking the mother bear Wednesday.
"We got multiple calls as she was coming down O'keefe Creek. Sadly Interstate 90 is quite a barrier and when she tried to cross interstate 90 she couldn't do it. She got hung up on I-90 and then came down about a half mile, mile and came up on the ramp way here at the Days Inn."
The bears will be transported to a safe place close to the river, where Jonkel says they probably intended to go in the first place.
FWP officials say this time of year bears are coming down looking for apples. So, if you have an apple tree, pick up the apples and don't leave them on the ground.