Fish and Game officials to wait out departure of Pasadena bear that briefly shut 210 Freeway

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Update 6:43: Fish and Game officials to wait out departure of Pasadena bear

Officials say they'll wait it out and give a black bear that ventured into Pasadena the chance to make its way back to the wilderness Thursday.  

"Between us and the Pasadena Police Department, we can't find the bear at the moment, which is actually a good thing," said Andrew Hughan, public information officer for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. "He's hunkered down in some trees or bushes or maybe made his way to the habitat. We don't know yet."

Hughan said the bear may be trying to avoid the noise of helicopters that have been dogging it this afternoon, as it wandered along a nearby golf course and close to the 210 Freeway. He said it will likely re-emerge and leave the area soon.

"When the helicopters peel off, because of darkness or fuel loads, it tends to relax the animal quite a bit," Hughan said. "Quite often, as soon as it gets quiet and dark, the animal makes its way right back to its natural habitat."

In the meantime, Fish and Game officials are advising that area residents stay clear of the animal and call 911 if they see it.

"The plan is to wait out the animal. Its safety and comfort is the most important thing as long as it's not endangering public safety," Hughan said. 

He added that Fish and Wildlife officials know where the bear is, but don't want to disclose its location for fear of attracting attention. 

"We're going to stay on scene until the safety of this animal is guaranteed. Sometimes it can take a couple hours; sometimes it can take all night," Hughan said. "It's up to the bear on what it wants to do,"

Update 5:28 p.m. Bear wandering near Rose Bowl shuts 210 traffic

A bear that was spotted wandering near the Rose Bowl briefly forced the closure of the 210 Freeway, as Fish and Wildlife officials searched for him. 

California Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan said officials were doing their best to find and capture the bear. 

"We have a game warden on scene and we're doing our best to get this guy," Hughan told KPCC. "To get a dart in him and get him captured." 

At one point, the bear came close to crossing the 210 Freeway near Arroyo Boulevard, NBCLA said, before turning back. The station reports:  

The bruin scaled a fence, traversed a freeway underpass and ran through a golf course, sending two people scrambling into their cars as the bear approached.

The search for the bear unfolded a few miles from Cleveland Elementary School, which let out for the day at 3:10 p.m., according to the school's website. The school did not appear to be affected by the search.

Hughan said it was unclear where the bear came from, but says he suspects it may have wandered from the wilderness nearby.

"Over the 150 and north of the 134, there's lots and lots of open space," so that's where we assume he came from,"  he said.

Hughan's advice? 

"Stay away. Stay in your car. Stay in your house. Stay in the building. Let the game warden and the police take care of it."

Correction: An earlier version of this post stated the bear had been tranquilized. Altadena police have since tweeted that the bear has not been successfully tranquilized.

With contributions from Nuran Alteir and Ava Aguado

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