Bear Climbs Tree After Rancho Cucamonga School Campus Visit

The bear was first reported outside a nearby home in the San Bernardino County foothill community

Two schools were locked down in San Bernardino County Wednesday morning due to a bear that wandered from a home's backyard and onto school property before it was tranquilized in a tree.

Animal control and Fish and Wildlife agents responded to a neighborhood in the San Gabriel Mountains foothill community of Rancho Cucamonga after a report of a bear in the back yard of a home. Vineyard Junior High and Highland Christian schools were locked down during the search.

"We're somewhat used to that, living close to the foothills," said James Moore, school district superintendent.

Resident Karen Moore saw the bear walking outside her home, too close to her dogs.

"We came running out here and just started screaming," said Moore. "Finally, the bear jumped over the gate and my dogs came inside."

Video from a deputies' vehicle showed the bear running on a sidewalk. The black bear was later reported near Highland and Hermosa avenues, just north of the 210 Freeway, and on the grounds of Vineyard Junior High School. Rancho Cucamonga police said the bear was "corralled" in the tree near the school.

The bear, estimated at about 1 year old, stayed on a branch of the tree, then began climbing down -- close enough for officers to use a tranquilizer. The sleeping bear was removed from the neighborhood and transported back to the mountains, where it will be released. 

Wildlife officials who examined the bear said it appears healthy.

No injuries were reported.

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