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'Glen Bearian' to get new home in Colorado sanctuary

August 30, 2012 |  7:16 am

PHOTOS: Southern California's backyard bears

The Glendale bear, known to many as Glen Bearian or Meatball, will have a new home in Colorado by early next week, miles away from his original residence in Angeles National Forest.

After being spotted multiple times over the last week in the La Cañada area, the 400-pound bear was captured, lured in by a trap of bacon and honey, said officials with the California Department of Fish and Game.

Hours later, the animal was taken to the town of Alpine, near the Cleveland National Forest. As early as next week, he'll be transported to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado.

PHOTOS: Southern California's backyard bears

"It's a huge relief," said Sarah Aujero, 29, who started the Twitter handle @TheGlendaleBear and named him Glen Bearian. "He needs a place where he … can have all the food and facilities for him to have a happy life."

Over time, Glen Bearian gained more than 28,000 Twitter followers as the real bear made multiple return visits to the area. He swam in pools and slept in a tree, forcing wildlife officials to tranquilize and move him — twice in a matter of months — deep into Angeles National Forest.

Pat Craig, executive director of the sanctuary, said what awaits is a 720-acre habitat where more than 80 bears roam free and that has underground dens for hibernating. Craig, who has been following the bear, noted that they sometimes do get food donations that can include meatballs and lasagna.

"The great thing is that bears, they get incredible food here. And that's the No. 1 thing bears live for," Craig said. "It's actually kind of like the Club Med for bears."

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-- Matt Stevens

Photo: "Glen Bearian," a 400-pound black bear who has been repeatedly spotted in the Glendale area, was taken to a quarantine site Wednesday. His next move will be to a bear sanctuary northeast of Denver. Credit: California Department of Fish and Game.

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