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Glendale bear pens essay, may move to shelter if he returns

August 22, 2012 |  9:54 am

Photos: Southern California's backyard bears

Over the summer, Glendale’s favorite bear appears to have taken up long-form writing.

Longer, at least, than 140-character tweets.

The 400-pound ursine, famous for his penchant for meatballs and other delectable trash, gained a following after multiple encounters with residents and wildlife officials. With the help of Sarah Aujero, 29, the bear took on the Twitter handle @TheGlendaleBear and amassed more than 25,000 followers.

PHOTOS: Southern California's backyard bears 

Now, the bear has penned his first essay.

Zócalo published Glen Bearian’s first memoir Monday, entitled “Why I Ate Your Garbage.”

“People have asked who I am. They want to know what I think,” the bear writes. “They want to know how I come by my fashion accessories, such as the orange tag in my ear. So let me start at the beginning.”

In the essay, Bearian recounts his journeys to the forest and back with his usual snappy sense of humor. Glen Bearian, also known as “Meatball,” was taken back to the forest for a second time in July after snoozing for hours in a Glendale tree. But he appears to be keeping up on current animal events.

"I’m calling P-22 about happy hour in Griffith Park,” he says in reference to a mountain lion that has taken up residence there. 

Zócalo Editor T.A. Frank said they reached out to the bear because “it’s been the summer of wild animals and we felt it was time one of them spoke out.”

“It was tantalizing but not ultimately satisfying to have him speak in tweets,” Frank said. “But the enigma remains. He’s still terse.”  

Meanwhile, Aujero is still busy assisting Bearian at the keyboard and in the creative suite. Aujero and her team have already designed and distributed dozens of bear buttons and she is working on T-shirts printed with the bear’s Twitter avatar: The California flag with a cartoon of the Glendale bear on it. A book of “Meatball tweets” is also in the works.

Any extra funds could come in handy, said Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the Department of Fish and Game. With the exception of unverified reports from one household, he said, the bear appears to have stayed out of sight and out of mind since his last deportation. If he comes back again, Hughan said, the bear may be taken to a shelter in Alpine for holding until there are enough funds to move him to a larger Colorado shelter for life.

Hughan estimated that the cost to move the bear there would be about $1,800, which he is confident Aujero could help raise in short order.

“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.   

And that would leave lots more time for writing.


Undeterred by freeway, bear returns to Glendale area

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Glendale bear has become a celebrity, worrying authorities 

-- Matt Stevens

Follow Matt on Twitter and Google+

Photo: The Glendale bear strolls through the front yard of a home in the 2300 block of Mayfield Avenue in La Crescenta in April before he was tranquilized, captured and taken into Angeles National Forest. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times