Mama Bear, Two Cubs Delight LCF Watchers

Photo courtesy Carmen Porto
A mother bear and her cubs were spotted this week as homebound neighbors gathered outside to observe the animals’ adventures, which included tipping over trash cans and climbing onto a roof.

“Honey, there’s a bear at the door!”
Those are the words Joani Bartoli-Porto announced to her husband, Carmen Porto, this past weekend when she suddenly spotted a trio of furry bodies strolling along in the La Cañada Flintridge residents’ front yard, located near the Gould wash.
After some happy commotion, the couple, watching from a window, confirmed that the lumbering visitors were a mother bear with two small cubs trailing behind. To get a better look, they cautiously peeked outdoors, joining a number of neighbors doing the same.
The baby bears, clearly of nursing age, ran at the heels of their mother, who was wearing a large yellow tag in one of her ears.
“They are so doggone cute you wouldn’t believe it, those babies looked just like real-life teddy bears,” said Carmen Porto, a professional photographer, who began taking pictures.
The bears spent the afternoon roaming the neighborhood, tipping over a few trash cans along the way, and eventually climbed onto the roof of a neighboring house via a nearby fence. That created some concern among residents, as the mother bear began crying and moaning as she searched for a way to get her youngsters down.
Eventually, a cruiser from the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station showed up and the deputy warned everybody to keep their distance.
“He reminded everybody that a bear can run 30 miles per hour,” Porto noted.
During this time of year, deputies are often called to respond to wildlife in the area, said Sgt. Ed Retamoza, but he added that unless an animal is acting aggressively, the best thing is to leave it alone and let it be on its way.
“When we receive a bear call, there’s really not much we can do, just make sure people stay indoors and stay safe,” he said. “Most of the time, the bears return on their own back into the mountains. We don’t really get involved in approaching them, just assure that people keep their distance.”
On this occasion, Porto noted, the patrol car slowly followed the animals — who by now had come down from the roof — seemingly giving them their own escort.
The mother bear “just lollygagged up the street, her babies following. We heard later that they spent the night in the tree down the block,” he added.

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