- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 29, 2015

STANWOOD, Wash. (AP) - Wildlife agents are trying to trap a black bear seen wandering a wooded median on Interstate 5 near Stanwood.

The Daily Herald newspaper of Everett reports (https://is.gd/DnRTxj ) that the last few days have brought a steady stream of calls from people reporting they’d seen the bear in the median, a swath of a grass, cedar and pine between the north- and southbound lanes.

Department of Fish and Wildlife officials say the situation is dangerous for the bear as well as drivers, who could become distracted and cause an accident.

“Most of the time we like to leave things alone,” Sgt. Jennifer Maurstad said. “But I would also like to see this bear have a shot at living a full life.”

The trap is set in a large section of culvert pipe atop a trailer, and is designed to swing shut with a tug on the bait bag inside. Maurstad prepared the bait: rotting fish, apples and bananas and fruit tarts.

The bear, believed to be young and in the neighborhood of 150 pounds, isn’t the first to spend time in the median, which is lush with tall grass for the animals to chomp on. Drivers have reported seeing bears there the last few years, and last July one was hit on I-5 near where the trap is set. In 2009 agents trapped and relocated a 200-pound black bear in the median after it eluded them for days.

If this bear winds up trapped, it will be tranquilized, outfitted with an ear tag for monitoring, and given a long one-way ride into some deep woods.

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