Young bear spotted, tranquilized near 10 Freeway in Indio

INDIO, Calif. (KABC) -- A young bear was safely returned to the Santa Rosa Mountains after being spotted and tranquilized near the 10 Freeway in Indio on Sunday.

Riverside County Animal Services received several calls about a bear just before 6 a.m. It was spotted inside high shrubs near a Ford dealership and residential community, north of Interstate 10 and south of Avenue 40, according to John Welsh of animal services.

After securing the area, Riverside County's animal control officers stood by ready to tranquilize the bear, if necessary, but the bear stayed put in the dense, 15-foot oleander bushes.

A California Department Fish & Wildlife warden was called and ultimately shot the bear with a tranquilizer dart. Once subdued, it was loaded up and transported to the Santa Rosa Mountains.

Welsh said the female California black bear is roughly 3 years old and very healthy. The bear's coat color was described as "similar to cinnamon."

"We had a great response team out there and this bear cooperated by staying put in the bushes," Lt. Luis Rosa of Riverside County Animal Services said. "The safety of the public and, of course, the bear were key. Fortunately, now, the bear will be in a location more suitable for a long, healthy life."
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