GLENDALE Calif. (KTLA) — “Meatball” the bear, who became something of a local celebrity last year, could be the main attraction of Glendale’s next Rose Parade float.
The 400-pound black bear got his nickname after being caught noshing on frozen meatballs from a garage refrigerator in Glendale.
Meatball found his way into foothill neighborhoods three different times.
The bear became popular among local residents, spawning a Twitter account and even Meatball merchandise.
Following each of the first two incidents, he was tranquilized and transported back deep into the Angeles National Forest.
However, after his third visit last August, state wildlife officials took the bear to the Lions Tigers & Bears animal sanctuary in Alpine, in San Diego County.
The Glendale City Council now wants to honor Meatball with its float for the 2014 Rose Parade.
Sketches of the proposed float feature an animatronic bear popping out of a garbage can.
It would be Glendale’s 100th entry into the Rose Parade.
It would also be its most expensive parade float, costing about $155,000 for the city.
City officials were hoping to raise about half of that sum, or $75,000, from corporate and community sponsors.
However, so far, they have only been raised $10,000 from a local developer and $160 from community support, leaving the fate of the float in question.