Pasadena wildlife experts to hold urban bear seminar Saturday

Cute? Indeed, but wildlife experts want urban bear-watchers to be warned that bears foraging in urban areas are still very dangerous animals.
Cute? Indeed, but wildlife experts want urban bear-watchers to be warned that bears foraging in urban areas are still very dangerous animals. Scott Lowe via Flickr Creative Commons

There have been no official sightings of the famous Glendale bear since he made a second appearance in the suburban city two months ago. But California wildlife experts say he could be back. So on Saturday evening experts plan to hold a bear seminar at Pasadena's Eaton Canyon Nature Center.

Lesson number one: if the bear drops his head, swings it from side to side, growls and stomps his feet – that’s not a “Hi, how are you?”

“He’s telling you that he is really uncomfortable with the situation," says Kim Bosell, natural area administrator for Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation. "One of you guys needs to back out. Preferably it’s going to be the human.”

Bossell is hosting Satuday's seminar. She says that as bears continue to return to city areas for our smorgasbord of trash, humans find themselves more comfortable getting closer to them, trying to snag that Instagram photo.

Bosell says bear sightings are becoming more common, even for cities that have never seen them in the past. For example, Sierra Madre has started seeing bears wander into its streets, she says.

“Monrovia has gone to bear-proof trash containers so if there is an increase [in bear sightings] in the cities that are next to them, it may be that the bears are moving away and going to an easier source.”

Bosell says that even though bears are becoming more comfortable being around humans, they are ultimately wild animals and can change their mind at any moment. Your safest bet might be to follow him from a distance on Twitter.

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