A 3-year-old, 400-pound bear has been wandering the streets of Glendale, Calif., for three weeks in search of tasty meatballs. But on Tuesday, he was captured and transported to the Angeles National Forest to be released back into the wild.
The black bear was first seen about 10 miles north of Los Angeles; for nearly a month, he roamed the residential area getting sustenance from trash cans in the area, according to the Associate Press.
The Los Angeles Times reports that when the bear first came to town, he found a stash of meatballs from one residential refrigerator. Since then, he has returned to that same spot at least three times in search of more.
He was apparently a genius forager, staking out sidewalk trash in different neighborhoods according to the fixed weekly schedule of trash pick-ups.
But on Tuesday morning, authorities cornered this bear on the lam and shot him with tranquilizer darts as he rested in the shade of a tree. They then picked up the very sleepy beast with a blanket and carried him into the back of a truck. It's like moving a water bed without a frame, said Martin Wall of the Department of Fish and Game to the L.A. Times.
While the bear was hanging around town, residents say they had no fear of him; he had become a sort of mascot for the neighborhood.
We get coyotes all the time and they're more dangerous than the bears that come down here, said Chris Lagerstrom, 31. We love cuddly bears.
It was early afternoon by the time the bear found himself back in the wild woods. Upon his transport truck's arrival 25 miles deep into the forest, he just wandered out, looked around, and took stock of his surroundings, said Department of Fish and Game Spokesman Andrew Hughan. He's got a heck of a hangover, mostly.