Bear Gets Cozy, Falls Asleep in East Ventura Backyard

"All I could see was the two beady eyes," resident Jamina Metcalf said.

A small bear was returned to the wild after it was found in a Southern California backyard early Tuesday.

"All I could see was the two beady eyes, so my sister and I thought it might be a cat," resident Jamina Metcalf said.

Metcalf said her sister, who was visiting from Idaho, arrived at her Ventura home around 2 a.m.

Barbara Palazeulos brought her two dogs to Metcalf's home and let the dogs out in the backyard. The dogs immediately began barking.

"If we hadn’t had the dogs here, I don't know how long it would have been there before we realized it was a bear," Metcalf said.

Early this morning, the bear "seemed kind of on edge at first, then got cozy and fell asleep," she added.

The women called animal control services and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, but were unable to reach anyone at such an early hour. So they called the locals sheriff's department, and wildlife officials eventually arrived at the house.

Officials from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife believe the tiny California brown bear came down from a wildlife corridor in the area.

After assessing the situation, a warden tranquilized the bear using a dart gun. Although darting is usually the last resort, it was the most suitable option in this situation, department spokeswoman Janice Mackey said.

The bear was released in the Los Padres National Forest.

As for Metcalf's encounter with the bear, she described it as "serendipitous." Metcalf told NBC4 that she is originally from Idaho so it's not the first time she's seen a bear.

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