Bear Makes Midnight Appearance in Simi Valley

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By: Sylvie Belmond

It’s not every day a bear wanders into town.

But a hungry young black bear dared to make the trek last night. It appears to have crossed the 118 Freeway on a quest for a midnight snack.

According to the Simi Valley Police Department, the bear was spotted roaming through an industrial complex at 2280 Ward Ave. in the middle of western Simi shortly after 1:30 a.m. May 22.

Officers kept an eye on the animal until a warden from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife arrived.

“After a somewhat lengthy game of ‘cat and mouse’ the bear was cornered, safely tranquilized and, like a key government witness, relocated to an undisclosed remote location far away from the city,” the police department said jokingly in a social media post this morning.

“SVPD would like to remind residents to keep all compartmentalized woven baskets, red/white tablecloths, fine china, silverware, linens and, most importantly, any and all food items safely stored inside their residences.”

Tim Daly, spokesperson for Fish and Wildlife, said his department was notified of the bear’s presence around 2 a.m.

SVPD officers were watching the animal, which was spotted on the south side of the 118 Freeway, nowhere near suitable habitat.

The bear was a healthy male, about 1.5 years old. It weighed around 125 lbs., Daly told the Acorn in an email. The bear was tranquilized without incident and released in the Los Padres National Forest, he said.

Though the responding officer hasn’t seen a bear in that area in 10 years, bears are found north of California Highway 126 and further east above Granada Hills, Daly added.

Mayor Keith Mashburn said can’t remember the last time a bear was spotted in the city.

“We’ve seen cougars, coyotes and even tigers, but I can’t recall a bear,” he said.

According to Fish and Wildlife, black bears are an important part of the local ecosystem. The species has been classified as a game mammal since 1948. But since then, hunting regulations have become more restrictive, prohibiting trapping, killing of cubs or sows with cubs, and reducing the bag limit from two to one bear per license year. In 1982, the department began recommending regulatory and legislative changes to reduce poaching and increase wildlife officials’ ability to monitor bear populations.

California’s black bear population has increased over the past 25 years. In 1982, the statewide black bear population was estimated to be between 10,000 and 15,000. It is now conservatively estimated to be between 30,000 and 40,000.

Posted on Μάιος 23, 2020 0619 ΠΜ by out_west_jess out_west_jess


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