Airport Bear

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Mon, May 21 2012 at 4:56 PM, Updated: Mon, May 21 2012 at 5:08 PM

A unscheduled arrival by a bear caused some concerns at the Klamath Falls Airport this morning - but that bear is now on her way to a safe destination.

Airport Operations Specialist Sam Pagan notes that the bear caught the attention of ground crews early in the day...

"The gentleman that was doing the perimeter check came across people who were already concerned that there was a bear outside the fence."

Tom Collom of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife adds that the bear arrived sometime over the weekend.   "The first word we got was yesterday morning, and it was over here to the west about a half mile."  But, Collom notes the bear somehow wandered into town.  "It's about a 100 pound female, probably a year and a half of age."

While the bear wasn't causing problems, Sam Pagan says the decision was made to move the bear before problems began...

"Wandering the fence, trying to figure out how to get through the airport property."

A fish and wildlife officer was called in to hit the bear with a tranquilizing dart, and relocate her.  A small crowd was on hand.

Collom notes that the tranquilizer took about a minute to do its job...

"We're going to give him another chance.  We'll take him way up in the woods and release him, and hopefully he'll mind his p's and q's."

Sam Pagan now has a new story to share...

"Kind of different, something that close - it's a wild bear - you normally don't get to see that very often.  Especially when one comes to your work for you - so, a little different."

And the bear now has some stories to share, too...

Black bears pop up in the Klamath Falls area every year or so.  Airport officials say this is the first bear they've ever had to deal with.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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