Nobody knows how the black bear got there. The first time it was spotted on Monday, the bruin was already precariously perched on The Dalles Dam spillgate.
In front of the bear was a 75 foot drop into the downstream concrete. Behind it were the swirling reservoir waters in the dangerous boat restricted zone. The river was running about 300,000 cubic feet per second that day, with about 40 percent being spilled, say Corps officials.
Wildlife officials called to the scene could see the bear was visibly distressed. And they feared an attempt to tranquilize the animal could result in a long fall to its death on the downstream side of the dam.
The officials determined the most humane choice was to kill the bear. An Oregon State Police trooper fired a shot in a manner that had the bear fall into the upstream side of the dam, after which officials lost sight of the bear in the water.
Corps officials say they can only speculate on how the bear ended up on the spillgate. Maybe while fishing it fell into the current and was swept to the dam.
For photos of the bear on the spillgate go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/portlandcorps