Snoozing Bear Catches a Lift Out of Pasadena and Back Into the Wild

Fish and Wildlife agents carried the sleeping 200-pound bear to a pickup after it was tranquilized outside a home in Pasadena.

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A bear rambled around a Pasadena neighborhood Friday before it was tranquilized near a home and transported back into the wilderness.

The bear was seen in the 3200 block of Mataro Street. Members of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife responded to the area. 

Because it was in a densely populated area without a corridor back to its habitat, the bear was tranquilized. The department of fish and wildfire was transporting the bear in the bed of a pickup back into the wilderness. 

It was estimated as about 200 pounds. 

Black bears, which can have different color coats, like to feed on plants, insects, nuts, berries and whatever else they think of as edible -- such as the contents of trash bins. If food is scarce in their natural habitat, bears are likely to forage elsewhere, bringing them into Southern California foothill neighborhoods.

California's black bear population has been on the rise over the last two decades, growing from an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 in the early 1980s to between 25,000 and 30,000 -- and that's a conservative estimate, according to the state department of fish and wildlife.

Black bears, recognized by their small, narrow heads and small ears, have coats that range in color from tan or brown to black. Females grow up to about 200 pounds and males can be a hefty 350 pounds with some giants weighing in at more than 600 pounds.


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About half of the state's bear population can be found in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and areas to the north and west. Only an estimated 10 percent of the black bear population inhabits central western and southwestern California.

Although its on the state flag, the fearsome grizzly bear no longer can be found in the California wild. The last grizzly bear observed in California was shot in the early 1920s.

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