Diario del proyecto Bears of Southern California

23 de mayo de 2020

Bear Makes Midnight Appearance in Simi Valley

Original Source: https://www.simivalleyacorn.com/articles/bear-makes-midnight-appearance-in-simi-valley/

By: Sylvie Belmond

It’s not every day a bear wanders into town.

But a hungry young black bear dared to make the trek last night. It appears to have crossed the 118 Freeway on a quest for a midnight snack.

According to the Simi Valley Police Department, the bear was spotted roaming through an industrial complex at 2280 Ward Ave. in the middle of western Simi shortly after 1:30 a.m. May 22.

Officers kept an eye on the animal until a warden from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife arrived.

“After a somewhat lengthy game of ‘cat and mouse’ the bear was cornered, safely tranquilized and, like a key government witness, relocated to an undisclosed remote location far away from the city,” the police department said jokingly in a social media post this morning.

“SVPD would like to remind residents to keep all compartmentalized woven baskets, red/white tablecloths, fine china, silverware, linens and, most importantly, any and all food items safely stored inside their residences.”

Tim Daly, spokesperson for Fish and Wildlife, said his department was notified of the bear’s presence around 2 a.m.

SVPD officers were watching the animal, which was spotted on the south side of the 118 Freeway, nowhere near suitable habitat.

The bear was a healthy male, about 1.5 years old. It weighed around 125 lbs., Daly told the Acorn in an email. The bear was tranquilized without incident and released in the Los Padres National Forest, he said.

Though the responding officer hasn’t seen a bear in that area in 10 years, bears are found north of California Highway 126 and further east above Granada Hills, Daly added.

Mayor Keith Mashburn said can’t remember the last time a bear was spotted in the city.

“We’ve seen cougars, coyotes and even tigers, but I can’t recall a bear,” he said.

According to Fish and Wildlife, black bears are an important part of the local ecosystem. The species has been classified as a game mammal since 1948. But since then, hunting regulations have become more restrictive, prohibiting trapping, killing of cubs or sows with cubs, and reducing the bag limit from two to one bear per license year. In 1982, the department began recommending regulatory and legislative changes to reduce poaching and increase wildlife officials’ ability to monitor bear populations.

California’s black bear population has increased over the past 25 years. In 1982, the statewide black bear population was estimated to be between 10,000 and 15,000. It is now conservatively estimated to be between 30,000 and 40,000.

Ingresado el 23 de mayo de 2020 por out_west_jess out_west_jess | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

29 de abril de 2020

Wild in Solvang: California Black Bear Roaming Downtown, Released Back into Los Padres National Forest

Original source: https://syvnews.com/lifestyles/wild-in-solvang-california-black-bear-roaming-downtown-released-back-into-los-padres-national-forest/article_9fb973cf-d7f8-559f-a7f1-21ae7f632451.html

By Lisa Andre, April 28, 2020

A large California black bear wandered into downtown Solvang left mostly empty by COVID-19 restrictions on Saturday evening, prompting response from sheriff's deputies and state fish and wildlife officials, who tranquilized the unlikely visitor and returned it to the forest.

Residents called 911 at 9:13 p.m., to alert authorities to the roaming bear, according to a report by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

Upon locating the bear, estimated to weigh 450 pounds, which had settled in an alcove behind The Mole Hole on Mission Drive, deputies were able to establish a safe perimeter to keep pedestrians away from the area, while the California Highway Patrol assisted with diverting traffic off Mission Drive, between First Street and Alisal Road.

The Sheriff's Office also issued a “shelter-in-place” advisory to warn nearby residents of the presence of a potentially dangerous animal.

The bear facts : California black bears are common, with a population estimate of about 30,000. They can be found mostly in mountainous areas above 3,000 feet elevation. Bears commonly consume ants and other insects in summer but prefer nut crops, especially acorns, and manzanita berries in the fall. Mostly they are plant eaters, but they have been reported catching and consuming young deer fawns.

State fish and wildlife officials shot the bear once with a tranquilizer, according to the report, causing it to leave the alcove and move east, across Alisal Road and onto the Santa Ynez Mission, where it disappeared into the brush on the hillside.

Once located, a fish and wildlife biologist stepped in to administer an additional tranquilizer.

Longtime Solvang resident Rod Simmons, owner of Lone Star Engineering, a structural engineering firm that offers stress analysis, structural alterations and architectural restoration in the Santa Ynez Valley, says he was contacted by sheriff's Deputy Sandy Frausto after 10 p.m. Saturday night.

"I was already in bed when I got the call. I told them I'd be there in 20 minutes," Simmons said. "[Deputy Frausto] knows that I have heavy equipment — I've got the crane. I've always tried to help the city out when I can.

"We were able to spot his eyes when the game warden used his flashlight," Simmons said. "He was hidden in the brush pretty well, which is a normal thing for a bear to do. He was trying to hide."

Simmons said that after the second tranquilizer, the bear was well sedated which allowed the group to go in with chainsaws and cut a pathway to the bear.

The forest contributes nearly $103.4 million annual revenue to local businesses who gain from people visiting from all over the nation to hike, bike and camp in our mountains.

By 4 a.m., the crew was able to approach the sleeping animal, shackle his legs as a safety precaution and begin the process of returning the bear to the forest.

"He had a grey muzzle — he was an older guy. But he was big and fat and probably weighed more than 450 pounds," Simmons said.

The bear was carefully dragged down the hill, and Simmons said he was able to assist with safely lifting it into a fish and wildlife vehicle by means of his crane-mounted truck.

Fish and wildlife then transported the bear to the Los Padres National Forest where he was observed until his successful release at 8 a.m. on Sunday.

"When he woke up, he was drowsy but looked like he was ready to eat," said Simmons. "There are plenty of acorns out there for him."

Ingresado el 29 de abril de 2020 por out_west_jess out_west_jess | 1 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Solvang Bear Captured and Released Back Into Wild Early Sunday Morning

Original source: https://keyt.com/news/santa-barbara-s-county/2020/04/26/solvang-bear-captured-and-released-back-into-wild-early-sunday-morning/

By Jessica Brest
Published April 26, 2020 5:02 pm

SOLVANG, Calif. - The bear that caused residents to shelter in their homes Saturday night in Downtown Solvang has been captured and released safely into the wild, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

A bear that wandered into Solvang Saturday evening was captured early Sunday morning and released back into the wild.

Deputies from the Sheriff's Department located the bear around 10 p.m. on the 1600 block of Mission Drive near a local wine tasting business.

Lt. Jamie Dostal with Fish & Wildlife said the bear was lying down on the ground outside the business and panting heavily, leading them to believe he may have just been running or overheating and decided to rest there.

Shortly after, a Wildlife Officer and biologist responded to the area and decided it was best to chemically immobilize the bear with tranquilizers. However, due to the bear's large size, Fish & Wildlife said it took time and multiple tranquilizer darts before the drugs took effect and the bear went down.

Lt. Dostal said officers were finally able to approach the bear around 2 or 3 a.m.

The black bear, which they estimated to weigh between 350 and 400 pounds, was so heavy that a crane with straps had to be used to lift his unconscious body up and onto a pickup truck bed.

Lt. Dostal said Fish & Wildlife were surprised to see such a large bear wandering into town as normally the bears that come into civilized areas are younger and less experienced.

The bear was then driven to a safe area about 10 miles northeast of the town where he was released.

However, Officers remained with the bear through the night until 9 a.m. on Sunday, when he had fully emerged from his drugged state and was able to safely return to his normal life. Fish & Wildlife said they stay with the animals to ensure other predators do not take advantage of them while they are sedated.

Lt. Dostal said that while the bear was unconscious, he was examined and determined to be a male adult, but not an elderly bear, who was in good health which was a pleasant surprise. Lt. Dostal explained that, in the past, bears that have come near residences and businesses showed injuries from encounters with people including being hit by cars.

The bear's good health may partly be thanks to the county and state's stay at home orders which are keeping many people off of sidewalks and out of cars.

Lt. Dostal said they have not received any reports of the bear coming into contact with pedestrians or business workers during his adventure into the town. Had the shelter at home order not been instated, normal Solvang crowds may have played a part in the bear's wellbeing or its choice to walk down city streets at all as bears typically like to keep to themselves.

An ear tag was also placed on the bear so that, should he return to town, Fish & Wildlife can recognize him as the same bear.

Lt. Dostal said it is possible the bear wandered into town in search of water after the streak of hot days, or possibly because he saw that there were fewer people around and wanted to explore.

Ingresado el 29 de abril de 2020 por out_west_jess out_west_jess | 1 comentarios | Deja un comentario

07 de abril de 2020

Black Bear Safely Removed After Stroll Through Southern California Neighborhood

Original source: https://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/black-bear-wanders-southern-california-neighborhood-monrovia/story?id=69125349

By Kelly McCarthy
Feb 21, 2020

A black bear that was wandering through a Southern California neighborhood and quickly captured national attention was apparently tranquilized by wildlife officials and transported out of the area, video shows.

The team of men were seen moving the massive black bear, which appears to have brown fur, on a large green tarp through a residential yard onto the bed of a pickup truck.

The bear was first spotted in a residential area of Monrovia, California, ABC News Los Angeles station KABC reported.

Multiple local news outlets and wildlife officials arrived to the scene along with some cautious, but curious, onlookers.

The bear has been seen from overhead helicopter camera wandering the front, side and backyards of homes on Hillcrest Boulevard starting at around 5:30 a.m. local time.

At one point around 6:50 a.m. local time, the bear was seen from an overhead vantage point as it walked right up to an iron driveway gate where a homeowner's dog was barking and standing on the opposite side.

The animals did not make physical contact, and after the bear turned around and walked to the next house, the dog retreated to the backyard.

At least one vehicle came dangerously close to the bear in the middle of a street, when it drove past the animal in the pre-dawn darkness, KABC said.

There was a bear spotted in the same neighborhood on Thursday, but it's unclear if it is the same animal.

Ingresado el 07 de abril de 2020 por out_west_jess out_west_jess | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

29 de enero de 2020

Bear Prowls Glendora Neighborhood Overnight

Original source: https://patch.com/california/glendora/video-bear-prowls-glendora-neighborhood-overnight

By Ashley Ludwig, Patch Staff
Dec 20, 2019

GLENDORA, CA — A bear was caught on camera, strolling along a brightly lit Glendora street overnight, Thursday. The animal was spotted just before 10 p.m. on Hicrest Road, wandering in front of a home decked out in festive Christmas lights.

In this video as it appears on the Neighbors app, the creature walks slowly across the street to the corner of a building. Though it disappears for a moment, the bear then comes back into view and goes on its way, doing bear things.

Though bear sightings are not rare in Glendora, it is a gut-check reminder that small animals should remain indoors at night!

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife have some general guidelines for bear encounters, with suggestions for what do to if you find a bear inside your home, or encounter one out on the streets and trails:

If a bear breaks into your home, do not confront the bear. Most bears will quickly look for an escape route. Move away to a safe place. Do not block exit points. If the bear does not leave, get to a safe place and call 911.

If you encounter a bear in your yard, chances are it will move on if there is nothing for the bear to forage.

If there is enough distance between you and the bear, you can encourage the bear to leave by using noisemakers or blowing a whistle.

If you encounter a bear while hiking and it does not see you. Back away slowly, increase your distance. Clap hands or make noise so the bear knows you are there and will move on.

If you encounter a bear on the trail and it sees you. Do not make eye contact. Slowly back away. Do NOT run. Let the bear know you are not a threat. Give it a way out.

If a bear approaches you, make yourself look bigger by lifting and waving arms. Use noisemakers, or yell at the bear. If small children are present, keep them close to you.

Carry and know how to use bear spray as a deterrent. In the event of a black bear attack, it is usually recommended to fight back. However, each situation is different. Prevention is the key.

Black bear attacks are rare in California and typically are defensive in nature because the bear is surprised or defending cubs; however, bears accustomed to people may become too bold and act aggressively.
Female black bears will often send cubs up a tree and leave the area in response to a perceived threat. Do not remain in the area – when you leave, she will come back for her cubs.

Ring, the owner of the Neighbors app, is a Patch advertiser. Patch received no compensation for this article.

Ingresado el 29 de enero de 2020 por out_west_jess out_west_jess | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

12 de diciembre de 2019

Seven Things to Know About California Bear Activity Right Now

Original source: https://www.google.com/amp/s/cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2019/06/07/seven-things-to-know-about-california-bear-activity-right-now/amp/

Reports of wayward black bears are keeping the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) biologists, wildlife officers and other public safety personnel busy across the state this month. Numerous bears have recently been spotted in urban areas, occasionally requiring human intervention to return them back to wild habitat.

Below are some of the most common questions CDFW has received from the public and members of the media regarding these incidents.

(1) Has there been an increase in the number of bears entering residential areas?

There is a definite uptick in bear activity, which occurs every year around this time, all across the state. In most instances, we’re witnessing the dispersal of young male black bears. Young bears typically spend about two years with their mother, after which the mother chases off her young male offspring in the spring to fend for themselves. The behavior itself is not unusual for the time of year.

Nature provides these youngsters with the best chance of survival as they are turned out on their own at a time of year when food and water resources on the landscape are the most available and plentiful.

Black bears typically prefer remote, mountainous areas far away from people. Still, these young, dispersing male bears are learning to survive on their own for the first time and are out seeking new territory to call their own. They sometimes take a wrong turn or end up somewhere they are not supposed to be – in a residential neighborhood or in the middle of town, for instance – at which point CDFW and emergency responders will help return these animals to wild habitat if they can’t make it out on their own.

(2) The bear removed from a tree in downtown Napa last week was an adult weighing more than 200 pounds. What was that bear doing?

California’s black bears of all ages are waking up hungry from their winter downtime and are out actively searching for food. Adult bears may also be out searching for mates. There is more bear activity across the state this time of year and sometimes the adults end up in the wrong place, too.

The Napa bear stuck up a tree in the middle of the city was there because it was where it felt safest after being scared by its surroundings. The bear might have waited out the day and left undetected at night on its own except that it had been spotted and a large crowd had gathered under the tree. Fortunately, CDFW with help from the local fire department was able to tranquilize the bear, safely remove it from the tree, provide a quick health check, and release it to wild habitat once the tranquilizer drugs had worn off.

Even when bears are spotted in populated and residential communities, the bears will typically and happily find their way back to wild habitat on their own without any kind of assistance. Only when a bear becomes stuck in a situation where it can’t escape or is in danger of harming itself or others will CDFW typically intervene to remove the bear and safely return it to wild habitat.

(3) I saw on the news reports about bears in Vacaville and Rohnert Park. Are there really bears in the San Francisco Bay Area?

There are hundreds of thousands of acres of wild habitat in nearby Lake, Solano, Colusa, Sonoma and Napa counties where bears are present. The Knoxville Wildlife Area in Napa County, the lands around Lake Berryessa and the Cache Creek area provide wild habitat for bears and other wildlife. These rugged areas, however, are not that far from population centers in the greater Bay Area where dispersing and foraging bears could accidentally end up.

In some unfortunate cases throughout the state, black bears are being struck and hit by vehicles on the roadways. Drivers need to be particularly alert this time of year as wildlife of all kinds – bears, bobcats, deer, coyotes, foxes, among them – are on the move, out and about, and more active and visible than usual.

(4) Are these bears a public safety threat or a threat to my pets?

Black bears very rarely pose any kind of public safety threat and are not often a threat to domestic dogs and cats. For the most part, they do their very best to stay as far away from people as possible.

(5) What kind of bears are these?

California is home only to one species of bear – the black bear. Black bears, however, come in a variety of colors, including black, brown, blond and cinnamon.

(6) How can I help the bears?

Bears have a highly specialized sense of smell. The public can help bears stay out of human settlements and stick to their natural diet by properly disposing of leftover food and garbage and securing other attractants such as pet food so these dispersing bears don’t become acclimated to urban environments. CDFW’s Keep Me Wild: Black Bear webpage offers a number of other useful tips to keep the bears wild and safe.

(7) Who should I call to report a bear?

A black bear spotted while out hiking, camping or recreating in wild habitat is not necessarily a cause for alarm. Bears spotted in residential, suburban or urban areas should be reported to the nearest CDFW regional office during normal business hours. After-hours or weekend sightings should be reported first to local police or sheriff officers, who often can respond and secure a scene quickly and then contact CDFW as needed. In any kind of emergency situation, please call 911.

Ingresado el 12 de diciembre de 2019 por out_west_jess out_west_jess | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

16 de noviembre de 2019

Those black bears you see in Southern California, this is how they arrived

Original source: https://www.sbsun.com/2019/01/07/those-black-bears-you-see-in-southern-california-this-is-how-they-arrived/amp/

It may be surprising or even a little disappointing, but the iconic black bears that roam wild in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains didn’t arrive there in ancient times through a process of natural migration, but instead they arrived in 1933, in crates, in the back of trucks.

The importation of black bears was the brainchild of J. Dale Gentry, chairman of the California Fish and Game Commission from 1931 to 1934. Gentry was also a wealthy and sometimes eccentric San Bernardino businessman, best known for his ownership of the California Hotel. As an avid sportsman, Gentry believed that reintroducing bears to the local mountains would benefit the ecosystem and boost tourism.

Before the arrival of humans, grizzly bears were the unopposed monarchs of the area mountains. According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the grizzly bear population was the likely reason that black bears did not naturally inhabit the area.

The California grizzly’s habitat began shrinking in the late 1800s when the state’s human population began to expand. The grizzly’s potentially ferocious nature ultimately led to their rapid extermination. The last grizzly in Southern California was killed in 1916, in Tujunga Canyon near Sunland. The last one in the state was killed in August 1922, in Tulare County.

Gentry’s transplantation plan came to fruition in October 1933, when the Fish and Game Commission captured six black bears in Yosemite, and released them in the Santa Ana River Canyon, near Seven Oaks, about 6 miles south of Big Bear Lake.

Gentry announced that more bears would be released over time, and that they would not be a danger to the local wildlife. “They will not harm deer or any other game,” he said. “They are not to be confused with the ferocious grizzly, as the black bear is of an entirely different species.” Gentry must have felt he had personal expertise in the subject, since he owned a young black bear that was given to him by a Shasta County game warden.

The Fish and Game Commission released six more black bears into the San Bernardino Mountains on Nov. 14, 1933. The release of these animals was captured on film. Six black bears had been released in the San Gabriel Mountains near Crystal Lake a few days earlier.

The total number of bears released into the local mountains as part of Gentry’s transplant program ranges from 18 to 34.

On Nov. 17, 1933, one of the recently released bears was sighted in Cucamonga, ambling across the intersection of Archibald Avenue and McKinley Street, where Cucamonga Elementary School now sits. The oblivious bear caused quite a commotion and frightened a group of children on their way to school before it disappeared into an orange grove. Outraged parents quickly contacted commissioner Gentry and demanded he “come pick up his pet.”

The defiant Gentry responded in the Nov. 18, 1933, issue of the San Bernardino Sun, “I don’t see why people are so worried about these bears. They wouldn’t harm anyone.”

On Nov. 20, the Cucamonga bear was cornered in a eucalyptus tree in Ontario, where it kept game wardens at bay for two days. The bear had reportedly been sampling the local bee hives before it scampered up the tree. When the bear finally came down, it was captured, and returned to its original release site in the Big Bear area.

The renegade Cucamonga-Ontario bear had traveled at least 50 miles in just over two weeks, clearly demonstrating the extensive range the animals can cover. Just a few days earlier, another black bear was found on a power pole in Yucaipa.

Sightings of “Gentry’s bears” became frequent, and some residents of mountain and foothill communities grew increasingly angry about the “ferocious beasts” that had been released.

The biggest uproar over Gentry’s bears came in June 1934, when two of the animals were shot and killed after raiding outdoor refrigerators in Wrightwood. One of the bears was killed by William Bristol, a well-known author, rancher, and owner of Wrightwood’s Acorn Lodge. The other bear was brought down with a .22 caliber rifle by Clyde Steele, also a Wrightwood lodge owner.

Gentry asked the district attorney in San Bernardino to bring charges against both men for illegally shooting the bears.

Rarely had two men of such resolve and unique character like Gentry and Bristol tangled in San Bernardino courts, and the newspapers carried extensive coverage of the bear killing case. On July 20, 1933, a jury found Steele not guilty of the bear crime, and a few days later, the district attorney dropped the charges against Bristol.

In December 1933, Gov. Frank F. Merriam asked Gentry to step down from his position of State Fish and Game commissioner. While there was no direct mention of the bear escapades being the cause of the dismissal, there was little doubt the string of misadventures played a major role in the governor’s request.

You can call it misguided, unfortunate, or brilliant, but there’s no question that Gentry’s unusual transplant experiment accounts for a significant portion of the wild bears that roam the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains today.

Mark Landis is a freelance writer. He can be reached at historyinca@yahoo.com.

Ingresado el 16 de noviembre de 2019 por out_west_jess out_west_jess | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

24 de agosto de 2019

Orphaned bear cub rescued from tree in Ojai Valley

Original source: https://www.vcstar.com/story/news/local/communities/ojai/2019/08/23/orphaned-bear-cub-rescued-tree-ojai-valley/2101798001/

A male bear cub was rescued from a tree Friday afternoon after its mother was killed in a car accident in the Ojai Valley, according to deputies.

The cub was spotted in the area of Rice Road in the Mira Monte neighborhood of the Ojai Valley, authorities said.

The bear's mother had reportedly been hit and killed by a car the day before, leaving a female cub and male cub without care, according to Capt. Eric Buschow of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office.

Sightings of the male cub and his sister were reported several times by residents in the Ojai Valley on Friday, according to authorities. Although the male cub was found in a tree, the female cub remains outstanding.

The rescue of the cub involved the Ojai Police Department, the Ventura County Game Warden, the Ventura County Fire Department and the Ojai Raptor Center.

Eventually, the cub was successfully tranquilized and taken to an animal rehabilitation center for further care.

Ingresado el 24 de agosto de 2019 por out_west_jess out_west_jess | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

16 de agosto de 2019

Bears in Bear Valley: more sightings and photos in recent years

Original source: http://www.tehachapinews.com/lifestyle/pen-in-hand-bears-in-bear-valley-more-sightings-and/article_89636348-c05c-11e9-9ba4-777e555c79ba.html

There have been indications over the past few years that there is a growing population of bears in a place known, appropriately enough, as Bear Valley Springs.

Unknown to many, though, is the fact that the bears for which both Bear Mountain and Bear Valley were given their names in the 1850s were the fearsome but now extinct California Grizzly Bears (Ursus arctos californicus). These shaggy giants were once abundant in the Tehachapi Mountains and other parts of Kern County.

The bears that are now thriving in Bear Valley Springs and other local areas are California Black Bears (Ursus americanus californiensis), a subspecies of American Black Bear that was first recognized in 1900. This is the kind of black bear found throughout the Sierra Nevada, Tehachapi Mountains, Coast Range and other Southern California mountains.

California got its nickname as the "Bear State" from the now-vanished grizzlies, but it remains an appropriate moniker as California has the largest black bear population of any of the contiguous United States. A precise census is impossible, of course, but there are believed to be more than 30,000 black bears living within California's borders.

California allows seasonal black bear hunting in many areas, though the season is closed when 1,700 bears have been taken. In 2018, a total of 1,349 bear tags were validated. Successful hunters must present the bear skull to California Department of Fish and Wildlife authorities, who remove a premolar tooth for ongoing bear management studies. The hounding of bears by hunting dogs, which were used to chase bears up into trees, was permanently banned in California in January of 2013.

As bears in other parts of the state thrive, there definitely seem to be more black bears living in our area. They have never been absent from the Tehachapi Mountains, but there are more sightings of them these days than there were 20, 30 or 40 years ago.

In the past 50 years, black bears have more frequently been reported in the vicinity of Sand Canyon than any other local areas. Sand Canyon itself has only sparse housing and infrastructure, and it is adjacent to large tracts of undeveloped land to the north connecting it to the Piute Mountains and the Sierra Nevada.

Bears are now regularly sighted at Tehachapi Mountain Park, on a weekly or monthly basis, when in the past there were years at a time with no bear sightings. Homeowners in Bear Valley Springs now report seeing neighborhood bears routinely.

Some of this increase may be due to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who have at times reportedly relocated young bears to the Tehachapi Mountains. Other bears are part of the resident population or have moved in during natural dispersals. California's black bear population in general seems to be healthy and either stable or growing.

While known as American Black Bears, not all of these animals are truly black, especially in the West. Author Gary Brown in his book The Great Bear Almanac noted that while 100 percent of bears in New England, New York and Michigan were black, in Yosemite only 9 percent of the bears were black while the remaining 91 percent were brown or blonde.

I have seen and photographed bears in the Tehachapi Mountains that were brown like a chocolate Labrador or even lighter, like the sun-bleached hackle feathers of a golden eagle. In an old railroad tie fence post that was used as a bear scratching and marking pole in Sand Canyon, I've seen bear hairs that were as blonde as straw.

California Black Bear sows typically give birth to their cubs at a denning site in February. The babies, usually from one to three of them, can begin walking when they are about five weeks old, but are rarely seen until they are two or three months old. Cubs usually stay with their mother until they are about a year and a half old, and the sow doesn't become pregnant again during that time.

Black bears generally have a life expectancy of about 18 year in the wild, though they can of course live longer than that. The record confirmed lifespan for a wild black bear was 39 years.

The Tehachapi Mountains were one of the few places in California that once had populations of both grizzlies and black bears — there are words in the Nuwä (Kawaiisu or Paiute) language for both black bears (odo'kid mo'orizh) and grizzly (po-git).

The grizzlies are gone, though there have been studies regarding the feasibility of reintroducing some Rocky Mountain Grizzly Bears into the remotest parts of California.

The number of California Black Bears in our area appears to be increasing. Enjoy observing them from a safe distance if you happen to encounter them, and remember that they are wild and potentially dangerous animals who may behave unpredictably. They generally flee from human contact.

Unlike the Antelope Valley, which has no antelope since the last big herd was shot into oblivion in the 1880s, the beautiful Bear Valley and Bear Mountain still have bears.

Have a good week.

Jon Hammond has written for Tehachapi News for more than 30 years. Send email to tehachapimtnlover@gmail.com

Ingresado el 16 de agosto de 2019 por out_west_jess out_west_jess | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
Vida Silvestre es una entidad asociada a la Organización Mundial de Conservación