Bears Reunited After Cub Gets Stuck in Trash Bin

The mother bear stood by as her cub explored a trash bin surrounded by a concrete wall Thursday morning in the San Gabriel Valley community east of Los Angeles

A mama bear and her cub created quite a scene in Pasadena on Thursday, starting off in a dumpster in a business area, then giving neighbors in their homes quite a show.

A mama bear and her cub took over the Taylors backyard on Rim Road.

"Now she's sitting in front of my son's clubhouse," said homeowner Candi Taylor.

Said Hugh Taylor: "You don't fool around with mama bears and their cubs. Ha!"

Their journey began in this area full of businesses, a mama bear keeping a close eye on her cub, stuck in a Dumpster.

"Mothers will bring their cubs to an area where there is a decent amount of food, decent amount of water and there's no threat," said J.C. Healy, a game warden for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Game wardens know busy Rosemead Boulevard in Pasadena is not a place for an agitated mother and her baby. With no tranquilizers, they find a way to spook Mom.

"I hit her with a bean bag round. It packs quite a bit of a punch," Healy said.

That allows another warden to coax baby out. He jumps and quickly searches for mama.

Reunited, they climb up a tree and back down then make their way presumably back to their home in the foothills.

Another homeowner, Rolando Iglesias, was walking behind the pool when, "we saw him take a drink and he just left."

At Rolando Iglesias' father's home a few blocks away, the bears broke a fence as they fled down a small ravine.

Hugh Taylor said he has never seen any bears.

"Had every other animal, but not a bear," he said.

Said Rolando Iglesias: "This is the first time we have ever seen one here, lived here for 30 years."

And while not a regular sight for neighbors the fact is bears in these parts are common.

"Cost to doing business here," Healy said.

Food and water are always a necessity.

"A lot of people focused on the drought," Healy said. "Believe it or not, our call load this year has been a lot lower than normally."

Bear sightings are not unusual in the San Gabriel Valley foothill communities northeast of downtown Los Angeles. The bears often visit neighborhoods on trash day in search of an easy snack.

California's black bear population is at about 25,000 to 30,000, with most living in mountain areas above 3,000 feet, according to what the state's Fish and Wildlife department calls conservative estimates. In 1982, the statewide bear population was estimated at between 10,000 and 15,000.

Less than 10 percent of the state's black bear population lives in the central western and southwestern California region, according to agency estimates. About half of the population resides in an area north and west of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

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