'Meatball is back': Bear that was relocated in April is spotted again

Glendale might have two regular ursine visitors, according to a California Department of Fish and Game spokesman.

Residents spotted a 300-pound black bear about 10 p.m. Thursday in the 2500 block of East Chevy Chase Drive — the same spot where a bear was seen in May digging through trash and snacking on chicken, rice and Baklava.

Another bear who made several visits to North Glendale earlier this year, dubbed “Meatball” because of his penchant for the Italian cuisine, is also back in the area, but officials could not confirm if it was the same bear seen Thursday in Chevy Chase Canyon.

“I can confirm that Meatball is back,” said Fish and Game spokesman Andrew Hughan. “Is it the same bear on Chevy Chase? We don’t know.”

He was basing his assertion on a photograph taken by residents who live near the Angeles National Forest. Hughan said the bear’s ear tags are visible in the photo, and it is the same number as Meatball’s. He confirmed that the photo was shot in the last couple of days.

Meatball the bear was dubbed “Glen Bearian” by a Twitter account set up during his media coverage in April, when he was caught, tranquilized and relocated deep in Angeles National Forest.

Hughan said it’s possible that two bears are roaming the Glendale and La Crescenta area.

Glendale police on Thursday used an air horn to scare the hulking intruder in Chevy Chase Canyon into a nearby hillside. The bear was spotted a few minutes later walking through a yard and turning over a trash can in the 3900 block of Buckingham Road, Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

About 40 minutes after that, a motorist spotted the bear walking on the street in the 3900 block of Linda Vista Road.

Residents told police they saw the same bear Wednesday night.

Officers didn't notice any ear tags on the bear, which would have indicated it was Meatball.

Fish and Game are not going to pursue Meatball, for now, said Hughan.

“We’re going to work with local law enforcement residents to keep him safe,” he said. “Hopefully he’ll stay in the woods and he learned his lesson.”

-- Tiffany Kelly and Veronica Rocha, Times Community News

Twitter: @LATiffanyKelly, @VeronicaRochaLA

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