Undeterred by freeway, bear returns to Glendale area

He’s back.

Months after entering the hearts of Glendale residents and feasting on Costco meatballs, the black bear tranquilized by wildlife officials and taken deep into the Angeles National Forest has reappeared.

Known on Twitter as Glen Bearian, the ursine returned to the area Thursday with his orange ear tag, which was attached to make him stand out in a crowd.

California Department of Fish and Game spokesman Andrew Hughan confirmed to The Times that the same bear that officials tranquilized in April was spotted in the Glendale-La Crescenta area Thursday afternoon.

“We hope that the bear has returned to the Glendale area to live where it feels comfortable, not to eat out of the same trash cans and dumpsters,” Hughan said.

“We are not going to go and look for him, and we are asking local residents to keep the area around their home clean, trash picked up and barbecues clean this weekend.”

Reports of the sighting came hours after Hughan told The Times that “Glen Bearian is not going to be coming back to Glendale.... The chances of him making a return would be an Olympic feat.”

2012, of course, is an Olympic year.

The Crescenta Valley Weekly reported that resident Kelly MacDonald discovered the bear in her backyard near her pool.

“They were not screams of fear, but of excitement,” she said. “We grabbed our cameras.”

After a few minutes, MacDonald said, the bear crawled over the fence and back into the trees.

Her excitement reflected the community’s infatuation with the bear after he made several weekly visits. Officials had initially scared off the animal with passive measures, but finally opted to tranquilize him in April.

Officials said it was unclear if a bear spotted Thursday night in Glendale was Glen Bearian or a different bear.

Asked on the day the bear was tranquilized if there was a possibility he would come back, California Department of Fish and Game Lt. Martin Wall had said that the bear has his “own free will” but that “the freeway is a pretty big deterrent.”

Apparently, not big enough.