The big Black Bear, captured in Santa Paula, is shown waking up after being moved to the Sisar Mountain area. Photo provided

Captured black bear alive and well atop Sisar Mountain

July 12, 2006
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesWithin days of the capture of a wandering black bear - a big boy estimated to weigh up to 500 pounds - the rumor started that the animal had been destroyed shortly after he was discovered in a back yard.Not true according to Asst. Police Chief Mark Hanson who said that the bear is alive and well atop Sisar Mountain where the bear was released after his June 25 capture.The approximately 500-pound male black bear was first reported at about 4:30 a.m., when the SPPD received a call saying that a large bear was taking a leisurely stroll in the area of Bradley and Wakeford streets.SPPD officers trained spotlights on the bear as he entered a residential backyard in the 200 block of West Santa Paula Street.With that the bear sat down next to the home.SPPD officers sealed off a two-block area around the residence and told residents to stay inside while SPPD K-9s Evan and Rex were dispatched to make sure that the bear stayed put.Also dispatched were Santa Paula Fire Department and Animal Control personnel as well as California Department of Fish & Game wardens.Department of Fish & Game personnel shot the bear with a tranquilizer and waited for it to lose consciousness. When the bear was declared out a cloth was placed over its eyes and the bear was sprayed down with water to ensure that his temperature didn’t rise.But photos taken of the sleeping bear still wearing the cloth over his eyes led to a rumor that the bear had been put to death.
“There was a rumor going around that the bear had been killed that Saturday morning, that we killed the bear and then loaded it into the fire engine and they hauled it off,” for disposal noted Asst. Chief Hanson.In fact, the Department of Fish and Game personnel took the bear to Sisar Mountain and “had to make sure that he woke up” fully before being released. “They saw the bear wandering off,” back to his natural habitat before leaving the area.There have been no bear sightings since: “It’s a rare incident,” said Asst. Chief Hanson although there are some notable exceptions.When it came to the most recent incident “I speculate that the bear came out of Fagan Canyon, it was a well-nourished bear,” who obviously hadn’t missed any meals. “My guess is that he walked out of the canyon and the barranca onto Santa Paula Street,” near where the bear was first reported.In the late 1990s the SPPD did have to kill a mountain lion that attempted to bolt out of a yard after State Department of Fish and Game personnel tranquilized it.The incident occurred on North Mill Street near McKevett School and although regrettable, “we just couldn’t risk it,” getting loose and fleeing to the school grounds, noted Asst. Chief Hanson.Several years prior to that incident another mountain lion was spotted calmly sitting in a tree on West Santa Barbara Street.“We called Fish and Game and they were able to tranquilize that case the mountain lion was released back to the Sespe”

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