Search Called Off For Wayward Bear

A wayward bear eluded game wardens for four hours before wildlife officials called off a search for the bruin, who shuttered a portion of the 210 Freeway during Thursday evening rush hour.

The bruin was spotted shortly before 3 p.m. near Hammond Street and Arroyo, near the Rose Bowl, said Andrew Hughan, with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"Bear is safe in heavy brush and has a safe route thru Arroyo to the (Angeles National Forest) Wardens backing off for the night," Hughan's department tweeted about 7 p.m.

But even though the search ended after the sun set, Fish and Wildlife officials told residents to be aware that a wild animal could be nearby. If residents see the bruin, they should call 911.

A tweet from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Altadena Station, saying the bear had been tranquilized was incorrect, Hughan said.

Earlier in the search, with wildfire officials following at a distance, the bear ran up to the edge of the eastbound 210 Freeway near Arroyo Boulevard, sniffed around the guardrail then quickly turned around and ran down the hill.

Eastbound lanes of the 210 Freeway near Arroyo Boulevard were closed at 4:30 p.m., according to aerial footage. Those lanes were reopened within about 20 minutes.

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.

John Muir High School was on a precautionary modified lockdown and parents were able to pick up their children, according to LASD Altadena Station.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife tweeted a request that the public stay away for the bear's and officers' safety.

"Remember this is a scared, wild animal," the department tweeted.

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