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Wandering Montrose bear temporarily shuts down 210 Freeway

September 9, 2012 | 10:43 am

Officials are tracking a bear that is wandering in the Montrose area after crossing the 210 Freeway and shutting down traffic for 10 minutes.

The bear was first sighted in the neighborhood about 7:30 a.m., according to officials with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The bear climbed onto the freeway about 8:30 a.m., prompting the California Highway Patrol to temporarily close the highway. The bear later entered a residential area and drank from a sprinkler, according to CHP logs. 

"He's just been wandering around for a while," Lt. Angela Shepherd said. 

At least one helicopter, several sheriff's deputies, a canine unit as well as wardens from the California Department of Fish and Game have been deployed to tranquilize the bear and return it to the forest.

Bear sightings are common in the area, which is close to Angeles National Forest. A 400-pound bear, nicknamed Glen Bearian, that made a habit of dumpster-diving in trash cans in the Glendale area was captured last month.

Resident Carla Reiber came face to face with the Montrose bear as she was reading the newspaper on her front porch Sunday morning.

"When the helicopters started flying overhead, we were joking, was it an accident or a bear? About a half-hour later, there he was," Reiber said.

The bear fled over a fence and is still on the loose. Authorities said nobody has been injured and no property has been destroyed.


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--Frank Shyong