Black bear down for the count after tranquilizer shots
A black bear that has been frequenting the hillside communities around Angeles National Forest finally conked out Tuesday after Fish and Game authorities shot him with at least three tranquilizer darts. Now they must figure out how to move the 250-pound bear out of a La Crescenta backyard and into a metal bear trap waiting down the street.
He will be taken back into the forest.
Authorities said the first darts were fired about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday after the bear had been roaming the neighborhood for several hours. They said it was a coincidence that Fish and Game was in the area.
Lt. Martin Wall with Fish and Game said he had been retrieving his bear trap from the area because rain was in the forecast.
"The timing was real good," he sad. "I was on my way down here. But it could be difficult to move him. It's going to take a couple people."
He said that trying to pick up the large creature will be "like moving a water bed without a frame."
Meanwhile, residents gathered around a brown-and-red complex on Montrose Avenue and expressed relief that the bear was finally going home.
"We're guests in his habitat," said Ray Stewart, 52, of La Crescenta. "You have to show respect."
Authorities believe it's the same bear that broke into a garage last month and pried open a refrigerator to snack on some frozen meatballs. He had been returning like clockwork on trash day and then was spotted again at 2:50 a.m. Saturday in yards on the 3700 block of Cedarbend Drive and again at 6 a.m. on the 3900 block of Forestglen Drive by a newspaper delivery man.
The bear has attracted a bit of a fan club –- in part because of an amusing Twitter account that has been tweeting about the bear's comings and goings.
"Please don't be afraid of me," Glen Bearian tweeted. "I wont eat you. Unless you're a meatball from Costco. Are you?"
On Monday, he was tweeting again: "Dont feed the bears. Just feed this one bear."
-- Matt Stevens in La Crescenta
Photo: A tranquilized black bear sleeps in between an L.A. County sheriff's deputy, California Fish and Game officer as resident Sanjeev Sehgal has his picture taken with the bear in La Crescenta. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times