Bear visits Duarte elementary school, prompts brief lockdown

A bear paid a visit to an elementary school campus Wednesday, prompting a brief lockdown before hopping a fence and scampering away, authorities said.
Witnesses reported seeing a bear just before 9 a.m. on a field on the campus of Valley View Elementary School, 237 Melcanyon Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Sidra Strong said.
The school was placed on lockdown as officials responded to search for the four-legged intruder, she said.
But the bear was seen hopping a fence and leaving the campus, and sheriff’s helicopter confirmed form the air that it was gone, she said. The lockdown was lifted within 20 minutes or so.

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Bear bites dog in Duarte backyard

DUARTE — A pet pit bull-mastiff mix suffered a minor wound but was expected to be okay after a close encounter with a bear cub and it’s protective mother Sunday, authorities said.
The incident took place shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Mount Olive Drive, near Spinks Canyon Road, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Lynette O’Brien said.
A large bear and two cubs hopped a fence and made their way into a residential backyard occupied by two large dogs, Sgt. Ann Devane said. One was a pit bull-mastiff mix, and the other was a German shepherd.
The pit bull-mastiff mix went after one of the cubs, which did not please the cub’s mother, Devane said.
The mother bear bit the dog, inflicting only a superficial injury to the animals back, she added. The second dog was not injured.
Following the brief scuffle, the three bears made their way back into the wilderness.

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Bear and cubs break into Monrovia home, help selves to cat food

MONROVIA — A large bear and two cubs forced their way into a home Tuesday, helped themselves to cat food and made a large mess before ultimately scampering back into the wilderness, authorities said.
The four-legged burglars showed up shortly before 12:40 p.m. at a house in the 800 block of Ridgeside Drive, Monrovia police Sgt. Dan Verna said. No one was home at the time, and the incident was reported by a neighbor.
“A very large female brown bear broke out a window,” Verna said. “The female bear and two cubs entered the home through the opening and ate cat food. They made a large mess and exited out the same window.”
The bears lingered in the neighborhood, so officers used a bean bag gun to shoo them back into the forest, the sergeant said. The mother bear ran back to the wilderness, but the cubs became startled and climbed a nearby tree.
When the bear realized her cubs were not behind her, “The mother returned and took a position to guard her cubs at the base of the tree,” Verna said.
Monrovia Animal Control officials, as well as U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials, were summoned to take charge of the situation, Verna said.
Officials asked everyone to leave the area so the cubs would come down from the tree, Verna said. Once left alone, the cubs descended and returned to their forest with their mother.
The incident lasted about three hours.

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Bears wander into Monrovia home

MONROVIA — A Monrovia man and his dog got a closer-than-comfortable encounter Wednesday with two bears, at least one of which ransacked his home, authorities said.
The uninvited guests showed up just before 6 p.m. at a home in the 800 block of Crescent Drive, at the far north edge of town on the edge of the Angeles National Forest, Monrovia police Sgt. Dan Verna said.
The resident called police, “and said there was a bear inside his downstairs living room,” Verna said. “The resident was in his upstairs bedroom with his dog.”
“He also said there was a second bear in his backyard,” the sergeant said.
The foraging intruders reportedly ransacked the man’s home before they exited the house of their own accord.
As officers were en route, “He called back immediately and said the bears were both outside and leaving the area,” Verna said.
“The officers utilized a non-lethal bean bag round effectively to frighten the bears back up the mountain,” Lt. Nells Ortlund said.
The bears apparently got into the home through a doggie door, police said.

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UPDATE: Wandering bear prompts brief closure of 210 Freeway

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Authorities tranquilized and transported a 300-pound bear Sunday morning after it wandered through La Crescenta and Montrose, prompting a brief closure on the 210 Freeway as it meandered across.
The animal was first spotted shortly after 7 a.m. on Henrietta Avenue in La Crescenta, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Angela Shepherd said.
“A resident said the bear had climbed a yard fence and knocked it over,” the lieutenant said in a written statement.
Deputies and California Department of Fish and Game officials responded and kept an eye on the bear as it slowly made it’s way south over the course of several hours.
“The bear walked through residential areas, sat in front of a nail salon on Foothill Blvd., walked the track at Crescenta Valley High School and walked up the La Crescenta onramp onto the 210 Freeway, causing its temporary closure,” Shepherd said. The closure lasted about 10 minutes.
Area residents were advised via “reverse 911″ phone calls about 8:40 a.m. to stay indoors and keep their pets inside, officials said.
Fish and game officials used three tranquilizer darts to subdue the bear, which was described as thin, about 10:15 a.m. at Sunset and Hermosa avenues, according to sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker.
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The bear was fitted with a tag and loaded into a truck to be taken back into the Angeles National Forest, officials said. It had not been tagged previously.
Another bear was struck by a car while crossing the 210 Freeway about two and a half miles to the east near Crown Avenue in La Canada Flintridge Aug. 26, and ultimately had to be euthanized due to its injuries.
In that incident, the officials also had to shut down the freeway briefly as they tranquilized and captured the animal.
PHOTOS courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
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UPDATED: Bear euthanized after being struck by car on 210 Freeway in La Canada Flintridge

The California Highway Patrol closed a portion of the 210 Freeway in La Canada Flintridge for about 15 minutes Sunday afternoon while authorities captured, and ultimately euthanized, an injured bear alongside the route.
Someone called the Sheriff’s Department’s early Sunday morning to report that a bear had been hit by a car in the area near Foothill Boulevard and Crown Avenue, but the bear was gone by the time deputies arrived, said Sgt. Cynthia Gonzales, watch commander at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff Station.
At 1:09 p.m. the station got another call from a witness who saw a bear, who appeared to be hurt, sitting underneath a tree behind the Starbucks near Foothill Boulevard and Gould Avenue.
The California Department of Fish and Game and Sheriff’s Department responded. The bear was in the bushes next to the Foothill Freeway, so the CHP closed the freeway for about 15 minutes around 3 p.m. while Fish and Game officials tranquilized the bear, Gonzales said.
The bear, who was about 150-200 pounds, was hit by the tranquilizer, ran up a tree, fell asleep and dropped out of the tree, Gonzales said. 
Officials examined the animal and determined it was necessary to euthanize it, according to the CHP.
The bear was smaller than the roughly 400-pound bear nicknamed “Meatball” who was spotted around town digging in peoples’ garbage cans and was twice taken back to the forest by state wildlife officials.
- Staff report
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Monrovia plans action — against bears

This is planned for tomorrow’s newspaper:

Monrovia Police Chief Roger Johnson is recommending thecity step up its regulations to deter residents from attracting bears and other wildlife into residential neighborhoods. Bear incursions into residential areas have been on the rise and a staff report with
several proposals, including fines for residents who don’t secure their trash, will be presented to the council during its regular meeting tomorrow.

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