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Glendale bear no 'imminent threat' to public, state official says

March 22, 2012 | 12:10 pm

Bear in GlendaleState Fish and Game officials say they cannot take action against a black bear in Glendale until it poses an “imminent threat to public safety.”

Glendale Police Sgt. Peter Pressnall said residents of the Whiting Woods area of North Glendale are worried about the bear now that it has been spotted five times in the area.

Police responded to calls about the bear about 5 a.m. Thursday on the 3800 block of Hillway Drive. Pressnall said residents saw the bear lumbering around front yards, and when police spotted it, the bear ran, presumably back into the Verdugo Hills.

Last week, a resident awoke to rustling and found the 250-pound bear in his garage, eating Costco meatballs and tuna from a refrigerator.

But Fish and Game spokesman Kevin Brennan said “the problem begins at the trash can.”

“As long as there’s unsecured garbage out, the bear will continue to return,” Brennan said. “If you don’t want the bear coming back to your house, don’t leave garbage out, or put it in a bear-proof container.”

Brennan said there is always risk in relocating a bear, and it would likely return to an area with food, no matter what. A bear rummaging through garbage does not pose an imminent threat to public safety, which is required for Fish and Game to take any serious action, he said.

Residents should take precautions, but they will most likely have to deal with it until it no longer returns.  

“Just because a bear’s in your neighborhood, Fish and Game can’t come and kill the bear,” Brennan said. “There’s only so far you can go.”

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--Matt Stevens

Twitter.com/mattstevenslat

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