Bear Walks Into California Apartment Building

Ventura County Star, Bear Hunting Magazine
05/07/2009

Several Camarillo, California residents had a close encounter with a bear when an adult black bear wandered into an apartment complex near the edge of the city earlier this week.

Sheriffs deputies were tracking the 250-pound bear when it wandered into the Avalon Camarillo apartment complex around 5:30 in the morning.

Sheriffs officials sent automated phone calls to about 3,000 residents and businesses warning about the bear and advising them to stay inside. Deputies followed the animal as it ran around the large complex for more than two hours.

California Department of Fish and Game officials ultimately tranquilized the bear after it sat down in front of an apartment. They planned to release it north of Fillmore, authorities said.

The incident surprised residents of the 249-apartment complex, but authorities said bear sightings in residential areas are no longer rare. Several deputies monitoring the bear were armed with shotguns in case the animal charged. Fish and Game wardens arrived about 6:30 a.m. and began working with deputies to corner and subdue the bear.

About 7:30 a.m. authorities cornered the bear in front of an apartment. A warden shot it in the leg with a tranquilizer dart as a sheriffs helicopter circled overhead. As authorities expected, the bear got up and ran through the complex for about five minutes after it was shot.

After the bear collapsed, Fish and Game Lt. Chris Long injected it with additional tranquilizer to keep it from waking up while being moved. Residents of the complex gathered to look at the tranquilized bear as authorities prepared to drive it away in a pickup truck. Authorities stated they would drop it off in suitable bear habitat and remain with it until it was awake and able to fend for itself.

Authorities estimate California now has 30,000 to 35,000 bears, compared with about 10,000 in the 1980s. Officials stated that the bear population is exploding throughout the state of California, and it is a fairly common occurrence for them to walk into towns.

Just hours after the Camarillo incident, wardens tranquilized a bear that wandered into a yard in La Verne, California near the edge of the Angeles National Forest.



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