Bear that wandered yards near Los Angeles moved to forest

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MONROVIA, Calif. (AP) — A big, old bear wandered a Los Angeles foothill suburb Friday, drawing curious onlookers and news media before wildlife authorities removed it.

The bear sluggishly ambled along streets and into backyards in Monrovia, which sits on the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains.

The Monrovia Police Department said officers kept watch and called state Department of Fish and Wildlife workers to the neighborhood.

The bear was eventually tranquilized and taken to the nearest suitable forest habitat, said Tim Daly, a Fish and Wildlife spokesman.

“One of our guys out on the scene described the bear as huge — about 400 pounds (181 kilograms) — female and older,” Daly said. “In the bear world, she would be described as elderly.”

The bear was otherwise fine, he said.

“It’s a little alarming how close and comfortable people were getting up next to this bear, but there were no incidents, so we’re happy about that,” he added.

It was believed to be the same bear seen a day earlier in Monrovia, where it’s not uncommon for animals to wander out of the sprawling Angeles National Forest above the city.

The city’s bear safety webpagenotes that bears emerge from winter dens and return to the foothills in search of food when the weather warms up.

That typically occurs in spring, but Southern California’s winter has been very mild. Temperatures climbed to 80 degrees (27 degrees Celsius) in the San Gabriel Valley on Thursday.

Monrovia’s most famous bear visitor was Samson the Hot Tub Bear, who took a liking to backyard pools in the 1990s. He eventually was sent to live in the Orange County Zoo.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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