Granada Hills bear captured following chase by wardens in residential neighborhood


A black bear that frightened students at a Granada Hills church school Tuesday morning, before running through a golf course and residential neighborhood, was apprehended Tuesday evening. The bear managed to evade police and wardens for several hours, before it was caught and transported back to the forest.

Update 6:35 p.m. Apprehended bear appears healthy; same bear caught for second time

The bear apprehended in Granada Hills, before being driven out to the forest and released, appeared healthy, according to Dan Sforza, assistant chief of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"The bear's been tranquilized, and we'll take it up and release it somewhere back in suitable habitat," Sforza told KPCC. "And we'll stay with it until it gets its feet back."

Sforza had yet to speak with wardens who were in the field, but told KPCC, "It looked like they got a tranquilizer dart in it early and didn't want to have a repeat of what happened in the morning where the bear went off under some bushes and they were unable to find it." He said it appeared they then tried keeping an eye on it until the drugs took effect.

"When an animal's amped up, which that bear obviously appeared to be, the drugs don't necessarily take effect as fast," Sforza said.

This is the second time this bear has been apprehended. It previously was caught and released back into the wild on June 3.

"When we get bears and tranquilize and release them, we put an ear tag in them so we can keep track of what we've done and how many times we've done it," Sforza said.

— Bianca Ramirez with KPCC staff

Update 6:03 p.m. Bear apprehended in Granada Hills

The black bear who wandered into a residential neighborhood Tuesday morning has been apprehended after 12 hours, according to the Arcadia Police Department.


The bear took two darts and wandered into backyards — and even a golf course. After initially going into hiding, it was re-spotted around 5 p.m. before being tranquilized, according to KPCC media partner NBC4.

Officers put the bear on a pickup truck to take him back out into the forest.

KPCC staff

Update 11:59 a.m.: Fish and Wildlife 'bear whisperer' on recent bear sightings

KPCC's Lisa Brenner — who wrote this morning's prescient post on bear safety — checked-in with wildlife biologist Marc Kenyon of the California's Department of Fish and Wildlife for a perspective on why there seems to be an increase in bear activity in the foothills and valleys.

Kenyon said in an email that he believes what we're seeing now in bear activity, "is pretty standard, especially this time of year."

Kenyon explains: 

"Right now the remote hills are pretty dry before this season’s rain starts, and bears are instinctively looking to put on fat for winter hibernation. As you know, suburbia is a great place for bears to get food, despite our best efforts to keep them out of peoples’ trash."

Given that, residents, especially those living near Angeles National Forest and other bear habitats, might want to be a little extra cautious with how they dispose of food items this time of year. From this morning's bear safety post: 

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.

RELATEDBears gonna bear: Black bear safety tips and local lore

Update 11:14 a.m.: Bear in hiding in Granada Hills
Police say they're still looking for a black bear that eluded Fish and Wildlife wardens late Tuesday morning. 
Los Angeles Police sergeant Jeff Stahl told KPCC the bear was able to escape officers hoping to remove him from the residential neighborhood.
"He got away," said Stahl. "He's hunkered down somewhere."
Stahl corrected earlier reports that a nearby school had been evacuated, saying a school on the Episcopal Church of St. Andrew & St. Charles campus had sheltered in place while the bear was outside. 
A tag on the bear's ear suggests that he may have come into contact with Fish and Wildlife wardens in the past. 
Stahl said Granada Hills residents should be exercise a bit of caution when leaving their homes. 
"Stay indoors and avoid contact with him," Stahl said. "Call us if you see him." 
Update 10:14: Bear trundles through Granada Hills neighborhood 
A bear that wandered into a Granada Hills neighborhood has been eluding Department of Fish and Wildlife wardens Tuesday. 
The black bear has been shot by at least one tranquilizer dart, but shows no sign of slowing, KTLA reports. 
The station says the bear was first seen near the Episcopal Church of St. Andrew & St. Charles Tuesday morning at around 7 a.m. — leading to the evacuation of a nearby school — before jumping several fences and running through lawns in the mostly residential neighborhood. 


Tuesday's bear sighting follows an earlier bear run that took place Thursday in Pasadena, briefly shutting down the 210 Freeway and leading to an hours-long chase by sheriffs officials, Fish and Wildlife wardens, and local TV helicopters.

That chase ended with a nap, as the bear bedded down in the neighborhood for the night, then headed back into Angeles National Forest (before reappearing on Twitter).

This story has been updated.