A hungry bear in search of food made a meal out of items inside a trash bin and left behind a trail of discarded items in the homeowner's yard early Monday in a foothill community east of Los Angeles.
The black bear was caught on camera as it toppled a trash bin in front of a Monrovia home and pawed at its contents before diving headfirst into the garbage. The bear chomped into a trash bag and carried it behind a bush.
Other items were scattered near Halloween decorations in front of the home in the 400 block of North Myrtle Avenue.
Bear sightings are not unusual in the community below the San Gabriel Mountains, about 20 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. A family of black bears climbed trees during a neighborhood visit late last month. Also last month, a bear and her cub devoured avocados in a Monrovia yard before climbing a tree.
The bears usually come down from mountain areas to search for food, often found on trash day, before returning to the wilderness.
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 CA Department of Fish and Wildlife 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.