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Furry visitor causes Claremont stir

A California black bear spent time hanging around a Claremont neighborhood over the weekend, causing quite a stir among its residents and providing photo opportunities for passing motorists.

Claremont police received a call at 9:06 a.m. on Saturday from a resident on the 300 block of Radcliffe Drive stating there was a bear in the neighborhood. According to Lieutenant Mike Ciszek, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) was quickly dispatched to the location where wildlife officers tranquilized the bear by dart. Once the tranquilizer took effect, the bear was relocated without incident.

Janice Mackey, information officer with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, says the bear was darted once while in a tree, came down and, after hopping a few fences,  ran up another tree where he was darted a second time.

After the scond dart took effect, the bear fell from a tree about 50-feet up, but was not injured.

“We were able to successfully transfer the bear back to a habitat in the Angeles National Forest," Officer Mackey said.

Local bear sightings are becoming somewhat commonplace in the City of Trees. In the past 10 days, Claremont police have received several calls regarding bear sightings at nearby The Webb Schools. The bear was seen wandering on campus but managed to leave unassisted. 

It’s unknown if this is the same bear from previous sightings.

The drought conditions affecting southern California has likely made it difficult for bears and other wildlife to find water and vegetation in the Angeles National Forest, forcing them to foothill communities, like Claremont, in search of sustenance.

Foothill neighborhoods are especially apt to have bear visitors during summer and fall months during years when there it is hot and not a lot of rainfall. The Los Angeles County Sheriff advises residents who encounter a bear to give it space, leave the area and call 911.

A bear's sense of smell is 1,000 times greater than a human's and they’re attracted to anything edible and smelly.  To help prevent bears from visiting your property, the CDFW has put together a list of guidelines that can help.

  • Store garbage in bear-proof containers, or store garbage in your garage until pick-up.
  • Keep food indoors or in airtight and odor-free containers.
  • Put away picnic leftovers; clean BBQ grills.
  • Keep pet food inside, and bird feeders away.
  • Pick up fallen tree fruit as soon as possible, or protect fruit trees with electric fencing.
  • Remove cosmetic fragrances and other attractants, including bird feeders and compost piles.

—Angela Bailey

news@claremont-courier.com

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