October 4, 2023

A mom bear flanked by two cubs wandered southbound down a busy Lima Avenue in Sierra Madre on Thursday, Sept. 14, as shocked lunchtime diners scrambled inside and public security personnel alerted the household to alter route.

All of it occurred close to the patios of the eating places that line Sierra Madre Boulevard. It was just some blocks from Metropolis Corridor, the place officers and residents have been sounding off on the right way to cope with a current rise within the variety of bear sightings – as current because the day earlier than, the place a bear, apparently attracted by mangos, bought into a house in the identical basic space as Thursday’s sighting.

“It’s realized habits now,” Police Chief Gustavo Barrientos mentioned. “With constructive and unfavorable stimuli, , they know that by going via a window, there’s a reward they usually’re going for it.”

As she ambled east towards the closest eatery Thursday at lunchtime, Nano Cafe, the police PA system loudly alerted patrons to go inside, which additionally alerted the bear to alter route.

Barrientos mentioned the bears have been non-aggressive and continued south via the parking zone and yards at Lima Avenue and Sierra Madre Boulevard.

Barrientos mentioned that the police drive will not be skilled or professionally geared up to deal with and relocate wildlife appropriately. This can be a job for Fish and Wildlife specialists. Whereas police do have extra aggressive deterants — pepper ball bullets and beanbags — a passive, loud deterance is one of the best ways to evacuate the bear, Barrientos mentioned.

“We haven’t had any assaults towards people,” he mentioned. “We’ve had some aggressive habits displayed, however very minimal. Nonetheless, these are animals on the finish of the day, they usually’re gonna defend themselves. If we anger the bear then subsequent person who comes throughout them could pay the consequence.”

Town of Sierra Madre has had fairly the bear week, on Thursday seeing its sightings for the years thus far soar from 303 reported sightings final week to 307 in the present day.

California Division of Fish and Wildlife coordinated with police to soundly take away the hungry bear from a South Hermosa Avenue dwelling on Wednesday morning.

This yr, town applied a Wildlife Incident Reporting (WIR) system, enacted a neighborhood ordinance prohibiting feeding, and began a neighborhood Wilderness Administration Plan. Starting in late October, each resident will obtain a free, bear-proof trash bin.

Moreover, in April, the Metropolis Council adopted a decision declaring urbanized bears a risk to public security and formally requested the California Division of Fish and Wildlife and the California Fish and Recreation Fee to agendize the difficulty.

However because the incidents proceed, residents throughout Tuesday’s metropolis council assembly demanded extra be finished amid a spate of current encounters.

Wildlife officers say they’re finding out the current patterns.

Jessica West, a human-wildlife battle specialist with the California Division of Fish and Wildlife, mentioned the division will not be conscious of any specific meals shortage, within the space, or how this yr’s excessive climate patterns could have impacted bears (or different wildlife) in regard to meals availability and human-wildlife battle. Although West famous that local weather change basically — together with drought and wildfires — is probably going a contributing issue for the rise in human-bear battle and sightings, it’s not the only rationalization. Human inhabitants development and improvement additionally play a task, she mentioned.