A large bear ambled into a La Crescenta pool early this morning, startling and delighting residents of a cul-de-sac that abuts a spiritual retreat.
Paul Hubler, who lives in the 5100 block of Finehill Avenue, said a neighbor called him at about 4 am, saying he had an ursine visitor. A few minutes later, he said, the bear came down to Hubler’s side and “ambled over to the shallow part of the pool.”
Hubler said the area beyond his yard, which is adjacent to the Ananda Ashrama Community, is essentially wilderness, and wild animal sightings are not uncommon. However, this was the first time he said he's seen a bear.
John Camphouse, who was part of the early-morning gathering, said he believed the bear was the famed “Meatball,” due to the large size of the animal as well as the tag on his left ear.
“I couldn’t quite see the number, but I believe it was 210,” he said, referring to the marker placed on the meatball and baklava-loving visitor to Montrose and La Crescenta.
Camphouse, who is a captain with Montrose Search and Rescue, and grew up in the area, said he’s seen plenty of bears in his time.
“A lot of people freak out when they see the bears,” he said. “But they were here long before we were.”