Black bear naps, snacks, evades capture in SLO neighborhood

jlamb@thetribunenews.comJune 20, 2013 

A napping 200-pound black bear avoided capture by wildlife officials in a San Luis Obispo neighborhood on Thursday, according to the San Luis Obispo police.

The bear was first reported just after 8 a.m. Thursday when a call came into police about a noise behind a home near San Luis Obispo High School, said Lt. Bill Proll.

A California Department of Fish and Wildlife team was called to the area and found the bear high in a tree. The team didn't want to tranquilize the bear for fear it would fall, Proll said. So, they waited.

Their wait was prolonged when the bear decided to take a nap in the tree. When it did finally come down, it ran into the creek bed.

By 2:10 p.m. another caller in the neighborhood reported seeing a bear, but again the bear evaded Fish and Wildlife teams.

Police got another call around 7:30 p.m. from someone in the area reporting a black bear in an avocado orchard sitting on the ground eating, Proll said.

This is not the first time a bear has been spotted in the area.

In 2011, a bear in the area that repeatedly raided chicken coops was shot dead by a federal trapper.

Occasionally, game officials will tranquilize and relocate a bear that has wandered into a neighborhood. But this technique is not effective with animals that have a well-developed pattern of marauding.

Male black bears average 250 pounds and are about 3 feet tall. Females weigh about 100 pounds less, according to The American Bear Association.

Black bears are well established in San Luis Obispo County. Fish and Wildlife in 2010 attempted to hold a bear hunt in the county but withdrew the proposal when it faced a strong public outcry.

GALLERY: Click here to see more photos of the bear »

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