By Nannette Miranda
NEAR TRUCKEE, Calif., Sep. 28, 2007 (KGO) - There was a dramatic life-saving rescue of a 250 pound bear.
It happened on a scenic archway bridge at Donner Lake in the high sierra, on the old U.S. Highway 40, near Truckee.
The Lake Tahoe Bear League gets hundreds of calls a year to help bears out of sticky situations, but the one two weeks ago was the strangest.
A man called in to say a bear was hanging for dear life from the Rainbow Bridge near Truckee.
Ann Bryant was shocked to actually see it.
"You can see the claw marks on, etched into the cement on the side of the bridge. And he hung there," said Ann Bryant, Lake Tahoe Bear League.
It's easy to see how the bear got spooked. The bridge is narrow and rarely traveled. So when a car came by, he jumped right over the side.
Instead of free-falling 100 feet down to a steep, rocky ravine, the animal miraculously was able to grab part of the bridge.
As home video shows, he managed to hoist himself into a small crevice under the bridge.
Rescuers say they had to leave him there overnight because they ran out of daylight.
"He would have never survived the fall or the jump, never," said Bryant.
The next morning, with a tranquilizer gun and a huge net secured onto the bridge, a five-hour rescue mission went under way.
The tricky part was pushing the bear into the net, after he was knocked out.
"I had to shout out to the guy we had in a harness off the bridge, at waist level to the bear, shout to him, 'kick him,'" said Bryant.
The net was eventually lowered, but the bear was still groggy. It took a couple of hours for him to wake up.
When he did, he went on his merry way.
"It feels real good to have saved him," said Bryant.
Copyright 2007, ABC7/KGO-TV/DT.