L.A. County Arboretum in Arcadia closed after mother bear, cubs spotted on grounds

A peacock hangs out near a wooden bench at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.
A peacock hangs out at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, which was closed Friday after a bear and two cubs were spotted on the grounds.
(Gabriella Angotti-Jones / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia was closed and evacuated Friday afternoon after a mother bear and two cubs were spotted on the grounds, according to authorities.

The bears were last seen sleeping on the 127-acre arboretum grounds, California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Tim Daly said. Animal specialists said the area is too urban to attempt hazing, or chasing the bears back to the wild.

Instead, officials will attempt to dart the bears with tranquilizers — starting with the mother, Daly said.

“It’s a slow process with so many animals involved,” Daly said in an email. “We’ll eventually take all three back to [the] nearest suitable habitat.”

After the bears are taken to the wild, officials will stay and make sure they are safe.

The arboretum grounds were closed and all guests were escorted out, a spokesperson said. The area is home to a variety of wildlife, including ducks, herons, turtles and peacocks.


A photographer with KNBC 4 news posted a photo to social media showing a group of elementary school kids on a field trip who spotted the bears. The photographer also shared an image of a bear running around the grounds.

This is a developing story.