Journal archives for April 2020

April 07, 2020

Black Bear Safely Removed After Stroll Through Southern California Neighborhood

Original source: https://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/black-bear-wanders-southern-california-neighborhood-monrovia/story?id=69125349

By Kelly McCarthy
Feb 21, 2020

A black bear that was wandering through a Southern California neighborhood and quickly captured national attention was apparently tranquilized by wildlife officials and transported out of the area, video shows.

The team of men were seen moving the massive black bear, which appears to have brown fur, on a large green tarp through a residential yard onto the bed of a pickup truck.

The bear was first spotted in a residential area of Monrovia, California, ABC News Los Angeles station KABC reported.

Multiple local news outlets and wildlife officials arrived to the scene along with some cautious, but curious, onlookers.

The bear has been seen from overhead helicopter camera wandering the front, side and backyards of homes on Hillcrest Boulevard starting at around 5:30 a.m. local time.

At one point around 6:50 a.m. local time, the bear was seen from an overhead vantage point as it walked right up to an iron driveway gate where a homeowner's dog was barking and standing on the opposite side.

The animals did not make physical contact, and after the bear turned around and walked to the next house, the dog retreated to the backyard.

At least one vehicle came dangerously close to the bear in the middle of a street, when it drove past the animal in the pre-dawn darkness, KABC said.

There was a bear spotted in the same neighborhood on Thursday, but it's unclear if it is the same animal.

Posted on April 07, 2020 22:47 by out_west_jess out_west_jess | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 29, 2020

Solvang Bear Captured and Released Back Into Wild Early Sunday Morning

Original source: https://keyt.com/news/santa-barbara-s-county/2020/04/26/solvang-bear-captured-and-released-back-into-wild-early-sunday-morning/

By Jessica Brest
Published April 26, 2020 5:02 pm

SOLVANG, Calif. - The bear that caused residents to shelter in their homes Saturday night in Downtown Solvang has been captured and released safely into the wild, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

A bear that wandered into Solvang Saturday evening was captured early Sunday morning and released back into the wild.

Deputies from the Sheriff's Department located the bear around 10 p.m. on the 1600 block of Mission Drive near a local wine tasting business.

Lt. Jamie Dostal with Fish & Wildlife said the bear was lying down on the ground outside the business and panting heavily, leading them to believe he may have just been running or overheating and decided to rest there.

Shortly after, a Wildlife Officer and biologist responded to the area and decided it was best to chemically immobilize the bear with tranquilizers. However, due to the bear's large size, Fish & Wildlife said it took time and multiple tranquilizer darts before the drugs took effect and the bear went down.

Lt. Dostal said officers were finally able to approach the bear around 2 or 3 a.m.

The black bear, which they estimated to weigh between 350 and 400 pounds, was so heavy that a crane with straps had to be used to lift his unconscious body up and onto a pickup truck bed.

Lt. Dostal said Fish & Wildlife were surprised to see such a large bear wandering into town as normally the bears that come into civilized areas are younger and less experienced.

The bear was then driven to a safe area about 10 miles northeast of the town where he was released.

However, Officers remained with the bear through the night until 9 a.m. on Sunday, when he had fully emerged from his drugged state and was able to safely return to his normal life. Fish & Wildlife said they stay with the animals to ensure other predators do not take advantage of them while they are sedated.

Lt. Dostal said that while the bear was unconscious, he was examined and determined to be a male adult, but not an elderly bear, who was in good health which was a pleasant surprise. Lt. Dostal explained that, in the past, bears that have come near residences and businesses showed injuries from encounters with people including being hit by cars.

The bear's good health may partly be thanks to the county and state's stay at home orders which are keeping many people off of sidewalks and out of cars.

Lt. Dostal said they have not received any reports of the bear coming into contact with pedestrians or business workers during his adventure into the town. Had the shelter at home order not been instated, normal Solvang crowds may have played a part in the bear's wellbeing or its choice to walk down city streets at all as bears typically like to keep to themselves.

An ear tag was also placed on the bear so that, should he return to town, Fish & Wildlife can recognize him as the same bear.

Lt. Dostal said it is possible the bear wandered into town in search of water after the streak of hot days, or possibly because he saw that there were fewer people around and wanted to explore.

Posted on April 29, 2020 22:28 by out_west_jess out_west_jess | 1 comment | Leave a comment

Wild in Solvang: California Black Bear Roaming Downtown, Released Back into Los Padres National Forest

Original source: https://syvnews.com/lifestyles/wild-in-solvang-california-black-bear-roaming-downtown-released-back-into-los-padres-national-forest/article_9fb973cf-d7f8-559f-a7f1-21ae7f632451.html

By Lisa Andre, April 28, 2020

A large California black bear wandered into downtown Solvang left mostly empty by COVID-19 restrictions on Saturday evening, prompting response from sheriff's deputies and state fish and wildlife officials, who tranquilized the unlikely visitor and returned it to the forest.

Residents called 911 at 9:13 p.m., to alert authorities to the roaming bear, according to a report by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

Upon locating the bear, estimated to weigh 450 pounds, which had settled in an alcove behind The Mole Hole on Mission Drive, deputies were able to establish a safe perimeter to keep pedestrians away from the area, while the California Highway Patrol assisted with diverting traffic off Mission Drive, between First Street and Alisal Road.

The Sheriff's Office also issued a “shelter-in-place” advisory to warn nearby residents of the presence of a potentially dangerous animal.

The bear facts : California black bears are common, with a population estimate of about 30,000. They can be found mostly in mountainous areas above 3,000 feet elevation. Bears commonly consume ants and other insects in summer but prefer nut crops, especially acorns, and manzanita berries in the fall. Mostly they are plant eaters, but they have been reported catching and consuming young deer fawns.

State fish and wildlife officials shot the bear once with a tranquilizer, according to the report, causing it to leave the alcove and move east, across Alisal Road and onto the Santa Ynez Mission, where it disappeared into the brush on the hillside.

Once located, a fish and wildlife biologist stepped in to administer an additional tranquilizer.

Longtime Solvang resident Rod Simmons, owner of Lone Star Engineering, a structural engineering firm that offers stress analysis, structural alterations and architectural restoration in the Santa Ynez Valley, says he was contacted by sheriff's Deputy Sandy Frausto after 10 p.m. Saturday night.

"I was already in bed when I got the call. I told them I'd be there in 20 minutes," Simmons said. "[Deputy Frausto] knows that I have heavy equipment — I've got the crane. I've always tried to help the city out when I can.

"We were able to spot his eyes when the game warden used his flashlight," Simmons said. "He was hidden in the brush pretty well, which is a normal thing for a bear to do. He was trying to hide."

Simmons said that after the second tranquilizer, the bear was well sedated which allowed the group to go in with chainsaws and cut a pathway to the bear.

The forest contributes nearly $103.4 million annual revenue to local businesses who gain from people visiting from all over the nation to hike, bike and camp in our mountains.

By 4 a.m., the crew was able to approach the sleeping animal, shackle his legs as a safety precaution and begin the process of returning the bear to the forest.

"He had a grey muzzle — he was an older guy. But he was big and fat and probably weighed more than 450 pounds," Simmons said.

The bear was carefully dragged down the hill, and Simmons said he was able to assist with safely lifting it into a fish and wildlife vehicle by means of his crane-mounted truck.

Fish and wildlife then transported the bear to the Los Padres National Forest where he was observed until his successful release at 8 a.m. on Sunday.

"When he woke up, he was drowsy but looked like he was ready to eat," said Simmons. "There are plenty of acorns out there for him."

Posted on April 29, 2020 22:41 by out_west_jess out_west_jess | 1 comment | Leave a comment