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'Meatball' the bear captured in Glendale, sent to sanctuary

A trap baited with honey and bacon led to the capture of 'Meatball' the bear in Glendale on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. He was transported to a sanctuary in San Diego County. (Department of Fish and Game)

August 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
"Meatball" the bear, who became a local celebrity for his frequent visits to the foothill areas and love for the food of the same name, will no longer be making appearances.

Department of Fish and Game officials said they captured the 400-pound black bear in Glendale on Wednesday morning and transported him to an animal sanctuary in Alpine in San Diego County.

Officials said they heard Meatball had been seen in the La Canada-Flintridge area and decided to capture him. They said they used a culvert trap baited with bacon and honey. He took the bait about 4 a.m.

"As a wildlife agency our goal is always to keep animals wild but in this case the best interest of the bear was to capture and relocate him to a safe and secure facility," said DFG Information Officer Andrew Hughan.

"At this time the bear is safe and secure and resting comfortably," the DFG press release said.

In La Crescenta on Tuesday morning, resident Gini McLoud captured Meatball on her cellphone camera as he strolled through her backyard.

"He wasn't the least bit in a rush," she said about the bear whose become a familiar figure in the foothill neighborhoods. "He stopped, made eye contact with us and kept walking by us."

The visit was believed to be Meatball's third to the La Crescenta neighborhood off Canyonside Road. The last time in mid-July, he was spotted napping in a tree. The DFG sedated the bear and took him deep into the Angeles National Forest.

Meatball has gotten so popular, someone created a Twitter account in his name.