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3 spooked black bears hang out in tree, in backyards until nightfall

A bear cub looks down at its mother and sibling after climbing an Altadena tree.
A bear cub looks down at its mother and sibling after climbing an Altadena tree. NBC-LA

A mother bear and two cubs spent their morning taking a jaunt through Altadena, capping it off by climbing up a tree under the eye of L.A. sheriff's deputies.

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department has confirmed that they've been in an Altadena neighborhood for more than five hours Thursday... and show no sign of moving.

The momma bear and her cubs were spotted in the foothill community at about 7:30 a.m.

Authorities cordoned off a street and called in state Fish and Game experts, but the plan is to wait for the bears to move away on their own.

"We are not in any hurry to do anything,'' said Department of Fish and Game spokesman Andrew Hughan said. "Nothing's going to happen probably until after dark'' when it's quieter in the neighborhood.

"We are continuing to monitor the situation, but there's no plans to do anything," said Andrew Hughan, a spokesperson with the Department of Fish and Game. "Our hope is that when it gets dark and quiet mom will tell the cubs, you know, 'pack up, it's time to go.'"

According to Hughan, the bears were likely "spooked" in the early morning hours and scampered up the tree to essentially "pretend nobody can see them."

"They're hunkered down, saying 'I'm not here, I'm not here, please go away,'" said Hughan, before adding that the best thing the public can do is listen to authorities. 

Both the public and media should "please, please, please back off," Hughan said. The more pepple that're there, the more they'll get scared."

The current game plan? To wait the family of three out. Hughan said that the bears will likely wait until dark before wandering back into the forest — which their tree is thankfully close to.

"Luckily for them, they're right on the edge of the forest," he said. "If they climb down, we hope that they'll turn right [into the woods]."

If not, the officials are standing by with bean bags and other "nonlethal encouragement" to direct the animals.

Altadena is below the Angeles National Forest, and such wild animal sightings are hardly unusual, according to the sheriff's department. 

The bears have recently climbed out of the tree and are currently ambling around residents' backyards as officials look on. Officials say it's likely they'll go up another tree before dark. 

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