Slacker Bears Looking for Handouts on the Brink of Invading California Neighborhoods

“Black bears are just looking for a handout, the easiest path through life.” – Marty Wall, CA Department of Fish and Wildlife

Humorous quote aside, the drought affects everything in California, including the 35,000 black bears that reside here. So with a massive die off of trees in the California forests, the bears are forced to relocate.

The easiest food source for displaced bears, your garbage! June signals the beginning of bear season and several counties are facing a tough situation after a sharp spike in bear calls to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Last summer, Kern County received over 1,400 bear calls between June and December. That number exceeds the overall number of calls received in the previous 20 years.

DFW urges residents in affected areas to become familiar in how to deal with bears, as it is illegal to kill a bear in a residential community. Wall described the hardship for the neighborhood bears, “Bears found in residential communities are often riddled with bullet holes. When they survive the bullets—and they often do—they still need to avoid poisoned food.”

This is not an isolated situation in one corner of the state. Monrovia, California isn’t necessarily a mountain town. But nestled at the foothills of the Angeles National Forest in Los Angeles County, the only two cities that beat Monrovia in annual bear calls are Lake Tahoe and Mammoth Lakes out in the Sierra Nevada.

Those looking to read more on the drought-affected bears, click here. 

Image Credit: Flickr user lorenjavier, via (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)