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Illegal Sale of Bear Parts May Have Forced Glendale Bear Fundraiser Auction Off the Internet [UPDATED]

The Glendale Bear at the sanctuary in San Diego County (Photo courtesy California Department of Fish and Game/used with permission)
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Just hours after it launched, an eBay auction set up to benefit the wildlife sanctuary housing the infamous Glendale Bear was yanked offline, likely because it violated a state law about the sale of bear parts.

The part specifically in question, according to L.A. Now, is a lock of hair from the bear affectionately known as Meatball.

Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Game, told the publication: “The sale of bear parts is illegal in California and DFG is investigating.”

Two other body-affiliated items, however, may be in the clear: The orange ear tag placed on the bear by the DFG, and a paw print.

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Lions, Tigers, and Bears in Alpine in San Diego County has been caring for Meatball since he was taken into captivity after a few too many dangerous trips down the hill and into residential and commercial areas of Glendale, La Crescenta, and La Cañada-Flintridge. The sanctuary, who were initially going to house the meatball-scavenging bear temporarily until a planned move to Colorado was nixed, is now building a permanent habitat for the bear, but says the have a goal to raise $250,000 to complete the project.

So far, the sanctuary has raised $105,000. They are still accepting donations online via their website.

The eBay auction was opened Wednesday, but was pulled later in the day. It was set to run until November 16.

Meatball has been thriving in his new home, and has been neutered, and had an identifying microchip placed under his skin, reports City News Service. The bear, who has an online persona on Twitter as Glen Bearian @TheGlendaleBear, has also undergone "a physical exam, blood work, parasite testing and a dental exam" according to a sanctuary spokesperson.

The Bear's Twitter feed pointed out the illegality of the auction items yesterday, and urged followers not to participate:

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UPDATE 11/9/12: The auction is back up on eBay, only minus the locks of fur. Instead, bidders can consider vying for "an 8-by-10-inch photo of Meatball," according to City News Service.