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San Bernardino Sheriff's Department issues bear advisory

September 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A large bear has been seen in residential areas on the north end of Rancho Cucamonga and residents were reportedly trying to get close and take pictures with the bear.

The Rancho Cucamonga neighborhood at the north end of Burrell Street is right up against the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, so a bear sighting isn't totally unexpected.

However, sheriff's deputies are concerned that some people aren't taking these sighting seriously enough so they've issued an advisory.

A picture of the bear taken just a couple of days ago showed it going through a trashcan that was knocked over outside a home at Burrell Street.

Other reports have indicated sightings of the bear walking down the middle of the street.

Deputies have reports of people trying to get close enough to the bear so they can get a snapshot of themselves with the animal. They are urging residents to not do that. It can be dangerous because you just never know how the bear is going to react.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department thinks the bear has been in the neighborhood for a couple of weeks now.

One resident said a couple of days ago sheriffs used non-lethal force, shooting the bear with a bean bag trying to scare it back into the foothills- which it did. But it is unclear how long the bear will decide to stay in the area.

"That would be kind of scary. It would make me worry actually," said Rancho Cucamonga resident Richard Gray. "That wouldn't be good, trying to get a picture with a wild bear. That would not be good at all."

This all comes on the heels of another incident about 20 to 30 miles east in Forest Falls. A 12-year-old girl was home alone when a bear wandered through an unlocked front door looking for food. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Authorities warn people to use common sense. If the bear is hungry it's going to look for food, that could mean trying to find food in a trash can. It could also mean going through a window or a front door looking for food.

If people see a bear and consider themselves or others threatened, call 911. Otherwise to just report a bear sighting you are asked to call the non-emergency number at your local police department.

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