Bear captured in northwest Albuquerque

Eddie Garcia

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Rose Marie Gallegos had just dropped off her son at Volcano Vista High School Thursday morning. As she was driving away, she spotted something near the intersection of Molten Rock Road and Unser Boulevard.

"I saw this black object coming along the bushes there and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, someone lost their black dog,’" said Rose Marie Gallegos.

Then she took an even closer look.

"I thought this is not a dog, so I slowed down to make sure of what I was looking at," she said. "And sure enough he came close to the road and you could identify. It was a bear."

She immediately called authorities. Soon, APS sent an alert to parents saying, "We are taking extra safety precautions and keeping students indoors today after reports of a bear sighting in northwest ABQ."

New Mexico Game and Fish rangers jumped into action as more people began reporting sightings.

We may never know the exact path the bear took but we do know that he was really hoofing it, traveling at least 5 miles. From 6:30 a.m. through around lunch time, the bear was spotted going north from Unser and Molten Rock, then through the Desert Greens Golf Course. The bear eventually ended up on the 4800 block of Summerlin Road.

Neighbors say the bear was hopping from their yard to their neighbors’ yards and back again, trying to escape getting tranquilized. Mike Godin and his family were safely indoors.

"The bear was in the backyard next to us and they had tranquilized it once or twice," he said.

Game and Fish Rangers were able to subdue the bear and safely take him into custody. It was determined he was about 2 years old and hadn’t been tagged before. There is no word on where he came from.

"Thank goodness my dog wasn’t out at the time. Would have probably thought it was a big play toy," Godin said.

The bear will be tagged. Rangers say he will most likely be relocated and released in the forest, somewhere far away from Albuquerque’s west side.

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