Photo by fsnorthernregion via Flickr Creative Commons
A devil-may-care bear wandered out of the San Gabriel mountains on Monday only to be scared up a tree by some terrifying humans.
The City of Sierra Madre announced the presence of the woodland interloper on its Facebook page reporting that the animal was "up in a tree and extremely frightened."
People were advised to avoid the area, and a few hours later the city's Facebook page reported: "Fish and Game have tagged the bear and it is now safely en route back into the mountains."
Bears are frequently spotted in the foothills, and last month, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department issued a "Be Bear Aware" news release reinforcing the message that: "It's Not a Bear Problem, It's a People Problem."
To that end, the California Departement of Fish and Wildlife produced some short and offbeat educational videos about how human carelessness is increasing bear encounters, and what can be done to keep black bears safe in their natural habitat.
Then the LASD just sort of casually mentioned that every single black bear in the San Gabriel Mountains is a descendant of 11 bears sent to the region decades ago after getting kicked out of Yosemite for being "troublemakers."
The Black Bears were introduced into the San Gabriel Mountains in 1933. They are all descendants of 11 bears deported from Yosemite National Park for being troublemakers.
Then the information switches seamlessly back to hashtags, strategies and scenarios.
How much room should I give a bear if I see one?
"As much room as you possibly can."
If I see a bear in a residential community, what should I do?
"Leave the area and call 9-1-1."
Do bears want to play?
"Bears don't want to play, they just want humans to go away."
Can I outrun a bear?
"Black Bears can sprint up to 35 miles per hour."
Ok, I'm going out for a hike.
"Before you leave on your hike, please fill out the HIKING PLAN sheet and provide to a loved one to hold onto just in case something happens to a member of your hiking/camping expedition."
Living with California Black Bears | What to do with food and trash
- Bears and other animals are attracted to anything edible or smelly.
- 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.
- Install or request bear-proof trash containers.
Bear country precautions
- Keep a close watch on children, and teach them what to do if they encounter a bear.
- While hiking, make noise to avoid a surprise encounter with a bear.
- Never keep food in your tent.
- Store food and toiletries in bear-proof containers or in an airtight container in the trunk of your vehicle.
- Keep a clean camp by cleaning up and storing food and garbage immediately after meals.
- Use bear-proof garbage cans whenever possible or store your garbage in a secure location with your food.
- Never approach a bear or pick up a bear cub.
- If you encounter a bear, do not run; instead, face the animal, make noise and try to appear as large as possible.
- If attacked, fight back.
- If a bear attacks a person, immediately call 911.
- When wild animals are allowed to feed on human food and garbage, they lose their natural ways – often resulting in death for the animal.
"Please respect and protect wild animals," says the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife. "Keep them wild."