Azusa

‘Keep Children and Pets Indoors.' Bear Spotted Roaming Azusa

Azusa PD

A bear spotted wandering around Azusa late Thursday afternoon put residents on alert, as police asked homeowners to stay indoors until it could return to the forest.

Azusa police posted an image to social media at 3:45 p.m. PST of a bear in the 500 block of E. Sierra Madre Avenue.

"We recommend that residents in this area to keep children and pets indoors at this time. Check back for updates," the post read.

About Bears in Southern California

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.

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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.

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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