The bear was seen wandering around Williams Village in Boulder, Colorado on Thursday morning, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Police were notified, and as officers tried to corner the bear, it escaped up a tree near a student housing building at Colorado University.
Officials from the US Wildlife Department shot it with two tranquilliser darts, at which point the bear collapsed from the tree and landed on a mattress below.
After bears come out of hibernation - usually in March or April - they begin scavenging for food, which it has been suggested could explain why it headed towards the city.
The bear has since been tagged and released back into the wild.