• Update on The Bear

    By Emily Branan

    A non-threatening bear roamed into Pacific Grove, was tranquilized by Wildlife and Fisheries and was taken to Los Padres National Forest, where it was released into the wild.

    The bear was noticed on Sunday, June 14 at about 5:30 a.m. near Cypress and Lighthouse Avenues in Pacific Grove. According to Commander Rory Lakind of the police department, Pacific Grove police followed the bear into Monterey’s jurisdiction at David Avenue, where Monterey Police joined in tracking the bear. Eventually, near Prescott and Devisidero in Monterey, California Fish and Wildlife joined the officers and tranquilized the bear. Officers continued to track it until it fell asleep and Fish and Wildlife took it away. The bear was transported to the Los Padres National Forest where it was released and ambled off under its own power.

    Kyle Orr, information officer for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said this bear, which was estimated to weigh 250 pounds, most likely came into a residential area to look for food.

    According to Orr, it was a young male bear that was not acting aggressively. He called it a “no harm, no foul” bear. Orr said it appeared to be healthy.

    Orr said it is vital for people to secure their trash to prevent bears and their acute sense of smell from being attracted to neighborhoods.

    If they get access to human food, they get habituated to people,” Orr said.

    This creates a dangerous situation for the bear as it continues to come back and is no longer afraid of humans.

    Beth Brookhouser, director of community outreach for the SPCA for Monterey County, said practices that would discourage smaller animals like raccoons and opossums from coming to residential areas are the same for preventing larger animals like bears as well, such as securing trash and not leaving food or water out.

    While it is unlikely that the bear will come back to the area from Los Padres Forest, Orr said it is hard to predict what animals will do.

    There’s no way to know for certain why an animal is in a given place at a given time,” Orr said. A number of residents said that they had observed what they thought was a bear in the last couple of weeks, a suspicion which has apparently been borne out.

    Orr said it is rare for bears to wander into residential areas on the Monterey Peninsula because of the region’s low population of bears. However, across California, it is not uncommon for bears to come into neighborhoods.

    He added if someone sees a bear, they can contact the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. If the bear is acting in a threatening way, Orr advises calling 911 and getting first responders on the scene.

    As summer picnics and barbecues continue, residents should make sure to clean up after themselves to prevent luring unwanted guests. 

    posted to Cedar Street Times on June 16, 2015

    Topics: Front PG News, Police Log

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