Tag Archives: bear

Ojai Woman Sustains Minor Injuries from Bear Attack

An Ojai woman sustained minor injuries to her arm and back after being attacked by a bear while walking her dogs at about 7 a.m. Friday.

Department of Fish and Game (DFG) wardens confirmed the attack at approximately 3:30 p.m. today and were on scene and continuing the investigation.

The victim, a 50-year-old woman, was walking her three dogs on a road just north of the Ojai city limit adjacent to national forest when she apparently surprised a California black bear described as cinnamon brown and approximately 250 pounds with a cub described as 45 to 50 pounds.

The bears ran across the road ahead of her but the sow returned and swiped at the woman’s wrist, causing an approximately one- to two-inch laceration. The bear began to leave, then returned and charged the female who turned her back to the bear. The bear knocked her down an embankment causing several six-inch abrasions which appeared to be claw marks.

The bear followed her down the hill and sniffed at the victim who sat still with her head in her lap. She stated the she could feel the bear’s breath on her neck. The bear left after about 10 seconds.

The woman got herself up the embankment and called law enforcement. She did not seek medical treatment and has asked to remain anonymous.

DFG will attempt to capture the bear. Some trails in the area may be closed to hikers.

There is no indication that this is the mother of the bear cub that was found and rescued in Ojai on Friday and transported to a wildlife care center over the weekend.

Since 1980, there have been about 15 confirmed bear attacks in California. The most recent was in the fall of 2010 at the Fallen Leaf Lake Campground near Lake Tahoe.

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Media Contact:        
Andrew Hughan, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8944

DFG and Partners Save Bear Cub Orphaned in Ojai

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and two wildlife organizations worked together over the weekend to save the life of a bear cub near Ojai.

DFG wardens received a call from the Ojai Raptor Center in Ventura County about a young bear cub that had been brought to their facility. The cub was brought to the Ojai Raptor Center by an employee of a nearby ranch who had seen the cub without its mother for three days and thought it had been orphaned or abandoned.

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Upon arrival the warden and wildlife rehabilitation personnel examined the cub and determined it to be a female, approximately 3-months-old and weighing just 10 pounds. The cub was alert and otherwise healthy.

The warden inspected the area where the bear cub had been seen over the past several days and did see large bear tracks but did not find any evidence (scat, rooting damage, bed/denning behavior, etc.) of a female sow in the area.

Based on the evidence DFG concluded the bear cub was abandoned or orphaned by its mother and due to its small size would not survive in the wild without her.

The cub was taken to The California Wildlife Center in Calabasas, another DFG-permitted wildlife rehabilitation facility, where it was evaluated by a wildlife veterinarian. With concurrence of DFG wildlife veterinarians the bear cub was approved as an excellent candidate for rehabilitation and release. The bear cub was held at the California Wildlife Center for the weekend and on Monday morning the cub was transported by DFG natural resource volunteers to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, where it will be cared for over the winter before release back into the wild.

As the state agency responsible for the care and management of wildlife, DFG’s preference is to keep animals in the wild whenever possible. In special circumstances the department has partners that provide support and services to help injured, orphaned or abandoned wildlife return to their natural habitat.

Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8944
Cindy Reyes, Executive Director, California Wildlife Center, (818) 222-2658

Homewood Bear Poaching Investigation Continues

Media Contact:
Pat Foy, DFG Law Enforcement, (916) 651-2084 

Department of Fish and Game (DFG) wardens continue to investigate the death of a bear shot and found dead on a Lake Tahoe beach near Homewood on July 30. 

The investigating warden determined the bear was shot at close range and that the type of injury sustained by the bear is indicative of a wound that would bleed severely, leaving obvious evidence at the location where it was shot. 

The investigating warden thoroughly searched, but did not locate blood or evidence that a firearm was discharged on any of the properties surrounding the beach where the bear was found dead. Wardens continue to follow up on other leads, including many tips from the Tahoe community, and hope to resolve the case as soon as possible.

DFG appreciates public interest in this poaching crime and understands the depths of emotions it has stirred. However, rumors, false information and Internet postings that encourage citizens to take matters into their own hands have the potential to complicate this ongoing investigation.

“Residents of Homewood have every right to be outraged about this bear’s death,” said DFG Capt. Brian Naslund. “As much as we want to bring this poacher to justice, we cannot prove a poaching crime with hearsay and rumor.” 

A final report will be submitted to the Placer County District Attorney for consideration, once the investigation has concluded. 

Anyone with specific information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the bear shooter is encouraged to call DFG’s CalTIP at (888) 334-2258. Callers may remain anonymous. 


DFG Successfully Relocates Southern California Bear

Department of Fish and Game (DFG) wardens responded quickly Tuesday morning and relocated a bear that has been getting into Southern California trash cans. Image

The 400-pound bear has been sighted multiple times around the Glendale area in the last three weeks. This morning, it was cornered in a La Crescenta backyard giving DFG officials the opportunity to safely tranquilize and remove it. It was then transported to the Angeles National Forest for release back into the wild.

The bear appears to be a healthy male about three years old. DFG has been monitoring the bear in this area for several weeks and working with local law enforcement and DFG biologists to balance public safety needs with the desire to safely move the bear to suitable habitat.

“The cooperative effort paid off this morning with a successful removal of the bear without injury, to the animal or any of the surrounding public,” said DFG Assistant Chief Paul Hamdorf. “We are obviously very pleased that the bear will be released and that it was done safely.”

When wild animals are allowed to feed on human food and garbage, they lose their natural ways, often resulting in death for the animal. Bears and other animals are attracted to anything edible or smelly. Humans can take these steps to prevent attracting bears and other animals to their homes or campsites:

  • Store garbage in bear-proof containers or in the garage until pick-up.
  • Keep food indoors or in airtight and odor-free containers.
  • Put away picnic leftovers; clean BBQ grills.
  • Keep pet food inside.
  • Pick up fallen tree fruit as soon as possible, or protect fruit trees with electric fencing.
  • Remove cosmetic fragrances and other attractants, including bird feeders and compost piles.
  • Install or request bear-proof trash containers.

Media Contacts:

Andrew Hughan, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8944

DFG Successfully Returns Yearling Bears Back to Mother Nature

Media Contacts:  
Marc Kenyon, DFG Wildlife Branch, (916) 445-3515
Janice Mackey, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8908

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has completed its 2012 yearling bear release program by returning six orphaned cubs to the wild where they were born. The cubs were found in various locations around the state in the summer months of 2011 and were rehabilitated at a licensed care facility in Lake Tahoe prior to being judged ready to return to the wild.

All six cubs, four males and two females, were in distress and weighed between 15 – 30 pounds when found. Two brother cubs that were found by hikers in the Fresno area had lost their mother to the arrow of a poacher, while another cub was found bawling in a farmer’s pear tree in San Luis Obispo. The others were victims of some other unfortunate circumstance.

“One of the most satisfying experiences I’ve had at DFG is to return a bear back into its environment and live the way natured intended it,” DFG Bear Program Coordinator Marc Kenyon said. “The bear rehabilitation program at Lake Tahoe is completely funded by generous donations and passionate volunteers. Our hope is that we can take learnings from facilities like this and keep bears from becoming public nuisances.”

To be eligible for rehabilitation, a cub must still be dependent upon its mother and not habituated. DFG works with the non-profit Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care (LTWC) organization – the only licensed bear program in California to rehabilitate qualified cubs. At the facility, cubs learn how forage for real bear food such as berries, acorns, fish, grubs and insects. Human contact is kept to a minimum or is non-existent.

When the yearling bears leave, each has tripled its size or more. Most weigh from 45 -80 pounds, depending upon their body type and the condition they arrived in.

“Our hope is that these cubs will wake up to bountiful buffet of spring food and become productive members of California’s thriving bear population,” Kenyon said. “Regardless if it’s six bears or 30,000, every bear in California is important.”

Upon release, each cub is given a final health check up which includes taking hair and blood samples, and is fitted with a radio transmitter to track its movements for the next year. Yearlings are placed in man-made dens with bedding used from the LTWC to give them some familiarity.

In most circumstances, DFG recommends that people leave wildlife alone, including removing attractants from their properties. If this is not an option, DFG should be contacted. For more information, please see www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/.