'Meatball' the bear to call California home, will stay in San Diego

ALPINE, Calif.

The 400-pound black bear will call the Lions, Tigers, and Bears animal sanctuary in east San Diego County home.

Meatball was taken to the Alpine sanctuary several weeks ago after California Department of Fish and Game officials captured him in the Glendale Foothills. The wayward bear was supposed to be transferred to a larger sanctuary at a Colorado facility, but state officials there blocked the move.

After Lions, Tigers, and Bears vowed to build Meatball his own roomy habitat, Fish and Game officials agreed to allow the bear to stay at the facility.

Lions, Tigers, and Bears continues to raise money for the construction, which is said to cost $250,000. The bear currently lives in a 15-foot by 20-foot cage, but his new habitat is expected to include a waterfall, hammocks, trees and lots of food.

Meatball is infamous for his numerous trips from the Angeles National Forest into neighborhoods to rummage through trash cans and garage refrigerators. He was named Meatball because it is his snack of choice.

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