500-pound bear tranquilized after wandering LA suburbs

LA VERNE, Calif. -- A bear that spent an evening roaming the streets of San Dimas and La Verne was finally tranquilized Thursday morning after climbing a neighborhood tree, KSWB broadcast partner KTLA reports.

The bear was first spotted Wednesday night as it searched for food in Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park and then Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church in San Dimas before heading over for a swim at Damien High School in La Verne.

Several people stopped to take pictures and videos of the 400 to 500-pound bear, which didn’t seem to mind, Sgt. Christopher Cadman said. “It seemed to enjoy the attention,” he said.

A wildlife official said the bear was not likely to bother anybody, but people should not do anything that “might spook it or make it attack you,” Cadman said.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials did not search for the bear overnight because crews were worried that if they tranquilized it in the dark the bear could run off and disappear, Sheriff's Department Sgt. Wong said.

The bear turned up again Thursday morning as it was spotted running through a neighborhood in La Verne. It eventually climbed up a tree, where it stayed for a couple of hours and even took a short nap.

Officials eventually shot the bear with a tranquilizer dart and followed it to a driveway where it was captured by wildlife crews.

Officials said it was not uncommon to see bears this time of the year, although Cadman said it was a first for him and others he spoke to in the department.