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Two wild bears found in L.A.-area neighborhoods

May 6, 2009 |  2:30 pm

Beware of bears!! It's a big day for wildlife in southern California -- two bears, in two separate instances, have wandered into L.A.-area residential neighborhoods in just the last few hours.

Around 5 a.m., the Ventura County Sheriff's Department responded to a report of a wild brown bear wandering around Camarillo.  When deputies arrived on the scene, they discovered the bear entering a complex on Flynn Road

The residents were advised to stay in their apartments until California Department of Fish and Game officers arrived about three hours later and shot the bear with a tranquilizer dart.

The 300-pound male bear probably came into the residential area from a nearby creek bed in search of food, Capt. Bill Ayub of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department told our colleague Alexandra Zavis.  Fish and Game officers planned to release it in a wilderness area in the hills.

Later this morning, police in La Verne were notified when a bear was spotted walking in a residential neighborhood.  Fish and Game officers cornered it in nearby Los Encinos Park and tranquilized it. The bear was released in a wilderness area.

Although no one was hurt in either incident, coming in close contact with a wild bear is certainly far from an ideal circumstance.  The Department of Fish and Game offers these tips for keeping bears at bay:

  • Store garbage in bear-proof containers, or store garbage in your garage until pickup.
  • Keep food indoors or in airtight and odor-free containers.
  • Put away picnic leftovers; clean BBQ grills.
  • Keep pet food inside, and bird feeders away.
  • Pick up fallen tree fruit as soon as possible, or protect fruit trees with electric fencing.
  • Remove cosmetic fragrances and other attractants, including bird feeders and compost piles.
  • Install or request bear-proof trash containers.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: A road sign near Pine Mountain Club acknowledges the presence of some local denizens. Credit: Los Padres Bear Aware

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