Dogs tree bear in south county

A large black bear made a late Saturday afternoon appearance at the Topaz Ranch Estates home of Cheryl St. Onge.

Once inside St. Onge's fence, located at 1250 Slate Road, the bear found himself confronted by the family's two dogs, a Great Pyrenees and a Newfoundland.

Taking refuge in a tree approximately 12 feet from the front porch of the residence and just a few feet from a koi pond, the bear remained treed until the dogs were restrained by St. Onge's daughter, Nicole Miner, allowing the bear to descend the tree, escaping back to BLM land that borders the St. Onge property.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office was called but the bear made its escape before officials could contain the animal for tagging.

Chet and Carolyn George, St. Onge's parents, TRE residents who live on Zeolite Circle, were also at the scene while the bear was still treed.

"The bear was not tagged," Chet George said. "When the dogs were restrained, the bear shinnied down the tree and took off across the property and headed for the canyon above Gold Hill."

George guessed the bear weighed 300 pounds.

"I realize they have heavy fur," he said. "I was trying to judge the size from my daughter's Newfoundland and I know the dog weighs almost 150 pounds. The bear was much bigger than the dog."


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