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Another Day, Another Black Bear Spotting

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Found in its natural setting | Photo by AlphaTangoBravo / Adam Baker via Flickr
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It's definitely become a media theme this past week. A bear sighting in Camarillo, one in Duarte, one in La Verne and one in San Dimas where one was seen this morning, KTLA reports (they have a video). A 200-pound North American Black Bear--the only kind of bear in California--was seen near residences and a condominium abut a wildlife area, likely because it was trash day. Police and wardens from the Department of Fish & Game observed the bear as it wandered back into its habitat in the San Bernardino Mountains. Nearby in Glendora, a bear was reported to be taking a dip in a swimming pool, but it is unknown if it was the same bear.

"This year is starting to chock up to be like 2007, which was a very intensive year for bears being spotted," explained Harry Morse of Fish & Game. "I've got a feeling this going to be a very active year."

Morse recommends you always give bears space for its and your own safety. "We just had a situation develop where the person called 911 for an officer because a bear was in their yard," he said. "Then they took a camera to go take a picture. Luckily nothing happened. You just don't want to put yourself in close promixity of the animal."

Considering the high amount of bear sightings by people, there have been only a few bear vs. human incidents of note. In fact, there have only been 12 “bear attacks” since 1980. Most recently, a man in Orange County sustained cuts on his eyes, cheek, and inside his mouth after a bear lunged at him. For tips for living and how to handle bear situations, check out the department's Keep Me Wild info website.