PORTLAND — Officers of the Maine Warden Service shot and killed a black bear today around 7 a.m. in the woods off Veranda Street in the East Deering neighborhood.

Portland police reported the treed bear to the Wardens Service around 4:30 a.m. Wardens initially tried to tranquilize the bear, but were unable to, according to Portland police Lt. Jim Sweatt.

“It was getting to be 7 o’clock and you don’t want school buses and firearms on the scene,” Sweatt said.

The bear initially was spotted in a tree on Oregon Street, a residential area, before climbing down and running off, Sweatt said. A warden tracked the bear down streets and through backyards before shooting it as a last resort because of the school bus concerns and commuter traffic starting to pick up on nearby Route 1.

The wardens service said the bear weighed 220 pounds. The hide is being sent to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife so researchers can determine the bear’s sex and age and other factors.

The meat will be distributed to soup kitchens.

Wildlife officials are warning residents this is the time of year bears are on the prowl for food as they fatten up in preparation for hibernation in late fall.