Schools along La Cañada’s Foothill Boulevard were on alert Thursday after learning a young bear was prowling among houses on Daleridge Road, but tensions eased after the animal hunkered down in a tree and was later tranquilized and relocated.
Lt. DeMarkus Smith, a watch commander for the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station, said the initial call came in at around 11:55 a.m. Thursday. Units responded, and nearby schools, including St. Bede the Venerable Elementary, St. Francis High, Flintridge Preparatory and Crestview Preparatory, were informed of the bear’s presence.
A representative from St. Bede, the campus closest to the bear sighting, said a security guard was actively monitoring the situation. Across the street at St. Francis, Dean of Students John Jordan said the gates were temporarily locked as a precaution.
“It was pretty much a ghost town,” Jordan said of the campus, mostly vacated at the end of a half-day finals schedule. “We closed the front gate and had two security guards out front. Outside of curiosity there was no real danger.”
Flintridge Prep officials reported that while few students and faculty were on campus Thursday, precautions, including alerting staff members and ensuring all gates were locked, were taken.
When the 2-year-old bruin ran up a tree on the 4800 block of Daleridge, sheriff’s deputies turned the matter over to California Department of Fish and Wildlife warden Kory Collins and members of the Los Angeles Fire Department, who sprayed water at the creature to get it to descend.
“When he came down, they tranquilized him,” Smith said. “He ran and went up another tree, and they had to tranquilize him again.”
The watch commander said the bear was taken from the scene for relocation, likely somewhere deep inside Angeles National Forest.
“He’s gone,” Smith said.