Photos: Bear plucked from tree by firefighters in precarious rescue

There's an undeniable fascination about urban bears rescues, as witnessed by the way a photo of a bear in Boulder last year went viral; see the original pic, plus a meme and GIF below.

No telling if images of a bear being plucked from a tree in Colorado Springs yesterday will become equally ubiquitous. But the operation, which involved not one but two tranquilizer darts and a precarious effort utilizing a fire truck's ladder, was certainly striking. See photos, a video and more below.

Regarding the April 2012 photo, which caught a bear in mid-fall after being tranquilized, it was snapped by Andy Duann, then a photog whose work appeared on CU-Boulder's student news website, the CU Independent. Here's the shot.

The photo instantly went national and international via memes like this one.... ...and even GIFS:

The wide dissemination of the image didn't thrill Duann, who subsequently made copyright complaints against the university. But the real tragedy involved the bear itself. Although it was reportedly relocated to a wilderness area fifty miles from Boulder, it found its way back into the vicinity of Boulder within weeks and was killed after being struck by a car on Highway 36.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife staffers are doing everything they can to avoid a similar fate for the 200-pound female bear found in a tree near the Colorado Springs intersection of South Chelton Road and South Claremont Street. According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, the bear was spotted at approximately 3 p.m. yesterday and proved difficult to dislodge.

A first tranquilizer dart didn't knock her out, so she had to be zinged a second time. Then, personnel on the scene deployed a fire truck and ladder to lift the bear from the tree and deposit her on the ground. From there, she was moved to a vehicle as dozens of fascinated spectators looked on. And while she, too, is scheduled to be released back into the wild, she'll be taken to a locale one-hundred miles away from where she perched -- double the distance of the Boulder bear.

Look below to see images from the scene, as well as the video from which they were culled.

Continue for more photos (plus a video) of the Colorado Springs bear rescue. Continue for more photos (plus a video) of the Colorado Springs bear rescue. Continue for more photos (plus a video) of the Colorado Springs bear rescue.

More from our Media archive: "Bear in CU-Boulder photo killed on Highway 36."

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