A longtime resident of Altadena got a surprise Thursday when he found a black bear calmly eating trash out his backyard.
No stranger to bear country, Al Stepens said the sighting of the small-ish ursine was a first for him.
"I’ve seen evidence of them, but that’s the first one I actually met," said Stephens, who has lived in the home in the 2800 block of North Holliston Avenue (map) since 1999.
Residents of the foothill community in Los Angeles County see bears not infrequently, and Stephens said he doesn’t mind.
"This is their habitat. We’re visiting, really," Stephens said. "They really. truly own it."
An NBC4 cameraman caught the light-colored bear digging through Stephens’ trash after knocking the plastic can over. The bear, looking up occasionally at the camera, seemed to eat a decent-sized meal.
Stephens said he doesn’t plan to store his trash differently. He did check for a “mama bear” before taking cell phone video of the bear in his backyard, which appeared to be fairly young.