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Glendale bear spotted soaking wet in La Crescenta, officials say

August 28, 2012 |  1:39 pm

PHOTOS: Southern California's backyard bears

The popular bear known to residents as “Glen Bearian” and “Meatball” returned to the Briggs Terrace area of La Crescenta on Tuesday, marking at least the second time it has made the miles-long voyage from Angeles National Forest.

Lt. Angela Shepherd of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Crescenta Valley Station confirmed to The Times that the 400-pound ursine with an orange ear tag was spotted in La Crescenta around 9:30 a.m. She provided no additional details, but state Fish and Game Capt. Mike Stefanak said a homeowner saw the bear in her backyard and assumed that it had just exited her pool because it was soaking wet. He said it left the property and wound up in a canyon behind the house before running away.

Asked how Fish and Game officials might handle the bear, Stefanak said, "Every option is still available."

PHOTOS: Southern California's backyard bears

"We are going to do everything we can to keep from destroying that animal," he said.

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

After weeks of scavenging, the bear was first tranquilized and returned to the forest in April. It returned again in mid-summer, performing what one Fish and Game surmised must have been “an Olympic feat.” When the bear was tranquilized the second time in July, officials said they would take it as far as policy allows, about 20 miles. 

But the bear’s third visit may be its last. Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the Department of Fish and Game, previously told The Times that if the bear came back again, and could safely be captured, it could be taken to a shelter in Alpine for holding until there are enough funds to move him to a larger Colorado shelter for life.

“We’re hopeful that if we can capture him in a safe way, we will place him in a facility for the rest of his life,” Hughan said last week.   

RELATED:

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Glendale bear has become a celebrity, worrying authorities 

-- Matt Stevens

Follow Matt on Twitter and Google+

Photo: The bear known as Glen Bearian lies tranquilized in the back of a pickup truck after a foraging visit in the Glendale/La Crescenta area in July. Credit: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times

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