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Third bear found in residential Southern California neighborhood

This bear was followed by sheriff's deputies into the Avalon Camarillo Apartment complex on Flynn Road in Camarillo last week.  They corralled it until wardens from the Department of Fish and Game shot it with a tranquilizer dart.

It's urban bear fever in the Southland. In two separate instances last week, bears wandered into residential areas -- one in Camarillo and one in La Verne -- before being safely tranquilized by California Department of Fish and Game officers and transported to more bear-friendly wilderness areas.  (The bear shown above is the one captured in Camarillo.  Although it may look wounded, don't worry -- it's just heavily sedated.)

Today marked "lucky number three" for San Gabriel Valley residents -- lucky, that is, because no one was harmed and the bear left of its own volition without interference from the sheriff's deputies and Fish and Game officers who arrived on the scene. Our colleagues at KTLA report:

The 200 pound California black bear was first spotted taking a dip inside a swimming pool on County Club Drive in Glendora around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Lt. Roxanna Hart of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department says they received a call about a bear running through yards of a condominium complex in nearby San Dimas around 7:41 a.m near Foothill Boulevard and Woodglen Street.

By the time sheriff's deputies arrived, the bear had moved to a hillside behind the residential area.  About an hour and a half later, it returned to the wilderness area from whence it apparently came. 

For more information on how to avoid contact with wild bears (and what to do if you do happen to encounter one), the Department of Fish and Game offers these tips.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: This bear was followed by sheriff's deputies into the Avalon Camarillo Apartment complex on Flynn Road in Camarillo last week.  They corralled it until wardens from the Department of Fish and Game shot it with a tranquilizer dart. Credit: Sergeant Harold Hanley/Ventura County Sheriffs Camarillo Police Department.

 
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I'm glad there was a happy ending, both for the residents and for the bears. Truth be told, our neighborhoods have stretched to the foothills, adjoining human populations with animal populations. Quite simply, we're encroaching on their territory. As we do, we need to take heed of the wildlife that are our neighbors. It's something to appreciate and preserve. Because as we expand our territory, the habitats needed to support wildlife populations diminish, and so does their population.

If it means that a bear wants to do some laps in the pool or take a dip in the hot tub, give them room. Besides, our Olympic team might find that the next Michael Phelps might be a bit more hairy.

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