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"With an adult bear it takes two to three minutes [for the drug to work]. This bear was in the water within a minute or so after the dart hit him," Nicoles said. "I got there faster than I thought I would."
Gustaveson, who has never seen or heard of a bear at Lake Powell in his 38 years working there, pulled the boat over to Nicholes and they got the bear out of the water.
"My kids thought it was funny I went swimming with my clothes on for a bear," he said Wednesday. "My boots are still wet."
The bear, 30 pounds and born last winter or the year before, was a little skinny, but in good shape. He was fitted with a radio collar and released in a remote location in southern Utah, far away from people and houseboats but with plenty of natural food sources — namely acorns.
"We go every year, and we have seen a lot of wildlife: badgers, roadrunners, coyotes and rattlesnakes," Peterson said. "But never a bear."
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