Advice for residents after bear was spotted in San Anselmo

Bay Area

SAN ANSELMO, Calif. (KRON) – The appearance of a black bear in San Anselmo surprised many people in the area but also the California Department of Fish and Game, who responded to help get it back into Mount Tam.

The black bear was seen yawning up a tree in the backyard of a home on Tamalpais Avenue, stirring up a lot of excitement in the neighborhood.

Denise Upton with Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care has a lot of experience dealing with black bears. Her thoughts about why this bear showed up here.

“This is the time of year where teenagers are dispersing and they’re kinda like human teenagers, they go to places where they’re usually not going to be in. They push the limits. It’s possible that’s what this was, he just wandered into an area trying to find his own place and ended up in an unfamiliar place and what up a tree which is what black bears do,” Upton said. 

Her theory is that bears are showing up more in suburban areas of California because of the recent wildfires and the curator of carnivores at the San Francisco Zoo agrees.

“The natural foods, the natural grazing material trees, different plants, berries, a lot of those have been destroyed and now the young bears and even the older bears they’re moving into a suburb area looking for food,” Ron Whitfield said.

Captain Patrick Foy with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife says they’ve had reports of bears in Marin County but not many. 

He says it’s important for residents in the area to note, this bear was not relocated, which means it could come back so residents need to take preventive measures.

“Sometimes it’s best to put the garbage out on garbage morning just get up early put the garbage out so it’s not out all night that’s one of the things that attracts bears more than anything else is garbage is left out or even pet food that’s left outside has a strong odor to it they might hop over the fence and get into the pet food,” Captain Foy said.

Black bears don’t typically attack people but Capt. Foy says it’s important not to approach them and not to put yourself in a place between a bear and where it wants to go.  

In the rare instance you are attacked, don’t lie down and play dead like you would with a grizzly.

Grizzly bears don’t exist in California with a black bear or any other kind of wild animal found in California, you fight back and try and getaway.

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