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'Meatball' the bear EBay auction to resume, minus lock of hair

November 8, 2012 | 10:27 am

PHOTOS: The Glendale bear

The San Diego County wildlife sanctuary that had planned to auction off a lock of hair from Glendale's most famous bear -– “Meatball” -– to help build a new habitat said Thursday it will change its offering upon learning it would be illegal.

Lions Tigers and Bears sanctuary removed the listing from EBay, but said it plans to relist the auction later Thursday, offering instead a blue paint paw print and the orange ear tag received from game wardens to raise funds for the bear’s new enclosure.

In a statement, the sanctuary’s founder and director, Bobbi Brink, called it an “open and closed investigation.”

PHOTOS: The Glendale bear

“We were unaware that it was a violation of the law to sell a lock of hair from a bear online,” she said.  “...Lions Tigers and Bears has Fish and Game's blessing to put Meatball's ear tag and paw print up for sale on EBay.”

The sanctuary needs to raise $145,000 more to hit their fundraising target of $250,000 to build Meatball a new permanent habitat.

The now-500 pound bear was taken to the wildlife sanctuary in August after twice being relocated deep inside Angeles National Forest.

The sanctuary also plans to roll out a Meatball Christmas tree ornament in time for the holidays on its website for $5.

“We thank everyone for your continued support for fundraising of the new habitat for Meatball," Brink said.

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-- Brittany Levine, Times Community News

Photo: Meatball cools off his a tub of water at the Lions, Tigers & Bears Sanctuary. Credit: Lions, Tigers & Bears sanctuary

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