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Bear spotted roaming in Shadow Hills neighborhood, foraging for food

May 22, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A wandering bear had residents on edge in Sun Valley Wednesday Morning. The animal was foraging for food in neighborhood trash cans before it was finally cornered near Stonehurst and Clybourn avenues.

Quiet neighborhoods turned chaotic as the young bear wandered down streets and through back yards. Police gave chase while residents couldn't help but reach for cameras at the sight.

"I'm not really scared. He was just running through. He was just trying to get home," said Allison Bouck, a Sun Valley resident.

Fellow Sun Valley resident Laurie Patenade said she was concerned for her animals.

"That was my concern - my chickens and my horse, but it wasn't that close," said Patenade.

It's unusual to see a bear in Sun Valley. Authorities believe the bear came down from the mountains searching for food and water.

By the time Fish and Wildlife officials arrived on scene, the young male bear had made his way into a nursery off McBroom Street, where wardens were able to tranquilize him.

"We used a dart loaded with a sedative-type of drug we use or a paralytic - it's a combination of a paralytic and a sedative," said Warden J.C. Healy with California Fish and Wildlife. "It will knock him down and give him a nice little nap for a little while."

Healy says he is familiar with this particular bear. Just a week ago, he went through the same thing with the same bear up in the Santa Clarita area.

"He's probably just moving around looking for a safe spot where he can find a food source. This is the time of year where the bigger males are walking around. The bigger males are looking for food, and in the animal world, they're going to compete and they're going to push the little guy out," Healy explained.

The warden planned to take the bear back up into the mountains and give him another shot at life in the wild.

Meanwhile, authorities want to remind residents that these are wild animals that can be extremely dangerous. Even this young male at 150 pounds can pack a punch if you get on his bad side, or more likely, in between him and a meal.


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