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Officials try to track down black bear

Animal control hopes to push the animal back into its own habitat.

March 15, 2012|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Local animal control, police and state Fish and Game officials are ramping up efforts to track a California black bear that has been rummaging through residential trash cans in North Glendale.

The bear recently gained notice after entering a home garage early Wednesday on the 3700 block of Beechglen Drive and rummaged through a refrigerator in search for food. The bear returned later that evening and was caught foraging by a television news crew.

“It’s an ongoing saga of us living with bears,” said North Glendale Community Lead Officer Matt Zakarian.

Police and animal control officers posted fliers with information on the bear in the Beechglen Drive neighborhood, which sits along the Verdugo Mountains just south of the Foothill (210) Freeway. Police also planned to go door-to-door to discuss the ongoing bear sightings.

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Officials will also set up an electronic message board that will ask residents in the neighborhood to call 911 if they spot a bear in an effort to better track the animal, Zakarian said.

Authorities won’t harm the bear, which hasn’t posed any threat to residents, he added.

California Department of Fish and Game wardens have been patrolling the area, but not actively pursuing the bear, agency spokesman Andrew Hughan said.

“The bear is just doing what bears do, which is eat,” he said.

If they do encounter the bear, wardens can shoot pellets at it to push it back into the mountains, tranquilize it and take it into its habitat, or kill it — an option the agency has ruled out, Hughan said.

Animal control officials believe the bear is the same one seen in August scavenging through residential trash cans for food, said Ricky Whitman, spokeswoman for the Pasadena Humane Society.

At the time, police advised residents not to confront the bear, which was frequenting the neighborhood on trash pick-up days.

The bear, she said, likely went into a short hibernation after appearing in August, and now has returned for food.

Officials advised residents to store any food out of sight. Trash cans should be secured and moved to street curbs only on the morning of pick-up to minimize the amount of time odors might attract wildlife.

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