A bear strolls Eagle Rock, miles from home
A bear ambled through yards in Los Angeles’ Eagle Rock neighborhood Tuesday night on a stroll wildlife experts said was unusually far from the wilderness where bears reside.
At around 7 p.m., the Los Angeles Police Department responded to a call from a resident who saw the bear in the 5200 block of College View Avenue, according to Officer J. Chaves of the LAPD’s media relations department.
A helicopter was dispatched and located the bear, Chaves said. The animal, which did not appear to be acting aggressively in videos, eventually left the area on its own.
“We stood by for public safety but didn’t really play an active role,” Chaves said.
Los Angeles County and California wildlife officials were alerted to the bear’s appearance, but the latter were not able to dispatch an official before it vanished, said Tim Daly, spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
It’s not unheard of for bears to trek down from the Angeles National Forest into residential areas — especially on days people put their trash bins out on streets for collection, Daly said. In 2012, a bear spotted in several Foothill communities captured the hearts of Angelenos when he broke into a refrigerator and scarfed down Costco meatballs. (He became known as Meatball.)
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has received about 77 reports of bear sightings in Los Angeles County over the past two years. Tuesday’s appearance, however, was a first during that period for Eagle Rock, which is eight miles south of the forest.
“This is pretty unusual,” Daly said. “That’s much farther than what we normally see.”
Why this bear decided to make the long journey is still a mystery.
“The most desirable outcome is that it goes back to where it came from and stays,” Daly said, adding that the department hasn’t received additional alerts since last night.
During the bear’s sojourn to the hip enclave north of downtown , social media lighted up with posts.
John Szabo, city librarian with the Los Angeles Public Library, tweeted, “So there’s a bear strolling down the sidewalk in #EagleRock,” with a photo of the bear walking along the pavement.
Michael O’Brien, a TV writer, posted several riffs on the incident on Twitter, including, “UPDATE: The Eagle Rock Bear has just flipped a 1,500 square-foot craftsman north of Colorado Blvd for a 500k profit.”
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