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Will 'Glen Bearian' come back? Official gives him '50-50' chance

July 16, 2012 |  8:58 am

More photos: Southern California's backyard bears

Glendale's most famous bear might be back in the forest, but officials wonder if it's only a matter of time before the unrelenting ursine returns to the foothills to forage for trash.

The 400-pound male black bear, known to his social media fans as "Glen Bearian" or "Meatball," was tranquilized and driven miles deep into the Angeles National Forest on Sunday after he spent nearly five hours snoozing in a tree.

The Sunday sighting was one of at least a half-dozen times Glen Bearian — distinguished by his orange ear tag — was seen in the last week alone. It also marked the second time in four months that California Department of Fish and Game wardens have shipped the wayward bear back to the forest.

PHOTOS: Southern California's backyard bears

"Based on his history, I think it's probably 50-50 that he comes back," Fish and Game spokesman Andrew Hughan said. "I'm going to put it on my big whiteboard: July 15."

The ursine was spotted snoozing in a tree in the 4500 block of Frederick Avenue around 7 a.m., officials said. Glendale police and Fish and Game officials kept an eye on the bear until about 11 a.m., when wardens roused the animal by firing several beanbag rounds at him.

As Glen Bearian shimmied down the tree trunk, wardens shot him with a tranquilizer dart. The bear managed to scamper two blocks before he was shot with a second dart.

He eventually fell asleep on a lawn near Clark Magnet High School, where he was loaded into the back of a pickup truck, placed in a cylindrical trap and returned to the forest.

The bear, who has a penchant for meatballs, fruit trees and swimming pools, captured the hearts of some locals as he made a habit of foraging for food in the foothill communities in recent months. His popularity only increased when Glendale resident Sarah Aujero, 29, created the Twitter handle @TheGlendaleBear so that residents would not see him as a threat.

Aujero retweeted several articles about Glen Bearian's capture on Sunday, telling followers to "place your bets" as to when the bear would be back.

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— Matt Stevens and Danielle Paquette

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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