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Bear cub captured in Duarte neighborhood is sent back to the wild

Authorities captured a bear cub that was found roaming through a Duarte neighborhood on Sunday afternoon, and after a brief evaluation, the cub was returned to the wild.

The cub was first seen about 3 p.m., wandering by homes in the vicinity of Royal Oaks Drive and Cotter Avenue, said Lt. Ernest Bille of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The intersection is also near the Duarte bike path, a 1.6-mile trail popular among cyclists and runners.

The cub then climbed up and down a tree and was “hunkering down behind homes” while state Department of Fish and Wildlife staff sought to capture the animal, Bille said.

By 4:45 p.m., the bear had been tranquilized, and staff from the Fish and Wildlife agency determined the animal was a healthy female weighing between 100 to 125 pounds, said Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the agency.

Officials estimated the cub was between 18 to 30 months old, and capable of living independently in the wild, Hughan said.

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Over the nearly two hours that the cub spent roving around the neighborhood, it was spotted walking along a retaining wall and crawling through yards and gardens. While the bear was on the prowl, sheriff’s officials warned residents to stay inside and avoid contact with the animal.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno.

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