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'Glen Bearian' is tranquilized and returned to wild

July 15, 2012 | 12:42 pm

More photos: Southern California's backyard bears

After snoozing nearly five hours in a Glendale tree, the bear known to his social media fans as “Glen Bearian” and “Meatball” has been tranquilized by California Department of Fish and Game officers, officials said.

Shortly before 11:45 a.m. Sunday, a DFG team started moving the unconscious bear into a safe area of the Angeles National Forest.
 
“He’s in a pickup truck on his way to a suitable habitat,” said California Department of Fish and Game spokesman Andrew Hughan, noting that a warden will drive him far away from inhabited areas. “It’s the best possible scenario for the bear, Fish and Game and the people of Glendale.”

PHOTOS: Southern California's backyard bears

Glen Bearian was spotted snoozing in a tree on the 3000 block of Foothill Boulevard, in the Glendale-La Crescenta area, around 7 a.m. Sunday, Hughan said.  Glendale police and Fish and Game wardens blocked off nearby streets and evacuated residents.
 
Still, on-lookers crowded the barricades as wardens fired bean bag rounds at the bear, rousing him from slumber. As Glen Bearian shimmied down the trunk, wardens struck him with four tranquilizer darts. The bear landed and ran two blocks before falling asleep on the lawn of Clark Magnet High School.

Fish and Game officers temporarily restrained the bear and placed him in a cylinder-like trap with an exit door. “When he wakes up and feels OK,  he’ll slide out and make his way into the forest,” Hughan said.
 
Frequent sightings (and subsequent Twitter pictures) of the bear around the Glendale and La Crescenta areas have propelled him into viral celebrity. His prolific online personality @TheGlendaleBear (operated by local resident Sarah Aujero) has attracted more than 24,000 followers, who often re-Tweet his snarky musings and questions like, “Where my bears at?”

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-- Danielle Paquette and Matt Stevens in Glendale

Photo: California Department of Fish and Game Warden Ilia Banks looks over a sedated black bear resting in the back of a truck at the 4500 block of Frederick Avenue in Glendale on Sunday. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

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