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Bear captured in Quartz Hill neighborhood

May 15, 2009 | 11:46 am

State wardens subdued and captured a 250-pound male bear this morning after it was spotted running through a Quartz Hill neighborhood in the Antelope Valley.

A resident in the 4200 block of Mohave Rose Drive called deputies about 11:30 a.m. Thursday to report “a bear was running in her street,” said Sgt. Theresa Dawson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept.

“It was on the sidewalks and in numerous backyards,” said Ed Frommer, a longtime Quartz Hill resident and freelance cameraman, who happened to be driving near 47th Street West about 1:30 a.m. today when he noticed the commotion.

Frommer said law enforcement officials chased the bear.

“It was going up and down, back and forth,” said Frommer, who videotaped some of the ruckus. “He was playing hide and seek with the sheriff’s deputies.”

At one point, the bear scaled a 12-foot wall, entered a gated community and later climbed a tree in a yard on M-4 and 40th Street West, where wildlife and law enforcement officials sprayed a hose to get it to come down. The animal descended but took off again with officials in hot pursuit, Frommer said.

“It was like Yogi,” said Frommer, who noted that he had seen many bears in town in his lifetime. “The funniest part was ... it was like a tag team match. It was like [the bear] was playing, in a sense.”

The bear was eventually cornered at 45 Street West and M-4, where it was shot about 4:40 a.m. today with a tranquilizer gun, Dawson said.

“Within five minutes, it was wobbling,” Frommer said.

The tranquilizer would have made the bear groggy, said Harry Morse, a spokesman for the state Department of Fish and Game. The animal was restrained, loaded into a pickup truck and taken to Angeles National Forest, where it was released by 7 a.m., Morse said. Wildlife officials planned to monitor the bear for up to two hours to ensure it recovered from its stupor.

-- Ann M. Simmons