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‘Old lady’ bear tranquilized after walkabout in Monrovia neighborhood

A bear went on walkabout on Highland Place in Monrovia Friday morning
A bear takes a stroll on Highland Place in Monrovia on Friday morning.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A large black bear described by wildlife officials as an “old lady” was tranquilized Friday morning after trundling through a Monrovia neighborhood, authorities said.

The approximately 400-pound bear was darted about 9 a.m. and will be taken back to the closest suitable habitat, California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Tim Daly said.

The creature was seen plodding along North Mayflower Avenue and Highland Place during the early morning, stopping occasionally to sniff trash cans or scrutinize news vans and other vehicles that had gathered to watch its wanderings.

One resident seen exiting his front door on video came within feet of the creature as it roamed his lawn. The man seemed unfazed and stopped for only a moment to watch the wild animal before continuing on his way.

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Daly indicated the bear was apparently familiar with the neighborhood as a source of food.

“It’s older, hungry, and these guys know when their food source is going to be out,” he said.

A bear walks along the sidewalk in Monrovia on Friday morning.
A bear walks down a sidewalk in Monrovia on Friday morning.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Bear sightings are nothing new for Monrovia, which backs up to Angeles National Forest and the San Gabriel Mountains.

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A bear was also spotted on the campus of nearby Mayflower Elementary School the day before, according to the Monrovia Police Department. That bear eventually left on its own and headed “back toward the mountains it came from,” Daly said.

It’s not clear whether Friday’s wanderer was the same animal, but Daly said there’s “a strong possibility.”

“If animals know they can get food one day at a particular location, they’re smart enough to come back thinking they’re going to score again,” he said.

Department of Fish and Wildlife officials “encourage people to do everything they can to discourage animal visits,” such as not leaving food outside and securing trash cans, Daly said. The department’s website offers tips about bear-proofing homes and campsites.

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Those who come across a bear are warned to keep their distance and avoid aggravating the creatures.


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