The California Department of Fish and Wildlife responded to repeated reports of a bear in La Cañada Flintridge over the weekend, tranquilizing the 225-pound male Sunday afternoon and returning it to the wild, according to Andrew Hughan, a Fish and Wildlife spokesman.
There have been additional sightings reported since on social media, but the animal LCF resident Anjum Khan spotted in front of a house near the corner of Starlight Crest Drive and Burning Tree Drive as she was driving home Friday was relocated. At first, she said, the bear was digging through the trash, but then he seemed to just sit down and relax, she said.
“At one point, half of him was inside the trash can, and his other [rear] side was hanging out,” said Khan, who stopped to take some photos. “Then he was just sitting down, enjoying his lunch.”
Khan, who alerted authorities, said the bear reminded her of one found on her front lawn on Forest Green Drive about three years ago.
“I’m thinking maybe it’s even the same bear…,” she said. “Poor thing, I just hope they can get him back where he belongs,” she said.
Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Slater said authorities were aware of the animal’s presence in town, but don’t typically intervene until necessary.
“It was going on for four to five days that they were getting calls on this,” he said. “Wildlife personnel said, ‘Unless it’s threatening, bears will be bears.’
“But when this bear was getting into garages, and he got into a freezer in one garage, and swimming in a swimming pool, the Fish and Wildlife people said, ‘That’s enough, we’ll come out.’ And so they came out and tranquilized it.”
The bear was found Sunday in the area of Foothill Boulevard and Palm Drive, Hughan wrote in an email.
“Immobilized safely and transported, it was tagged and released back to suitable habitat in the Angeles National Forest,” Hughan said.
In a post on the CV Sheriff’s Facebook page, Slater posted a reminder, warning residents who see wildlife to be cautious.
“Hopefully the bear will stay up in the forest,” Slater wrote, “but if it does not, please remember that bears are dangerous and trying to get a selfie with a bear is not worth your life.”
— Camila Castellanos and Mirjam Swanson