Caught on Video: Black Bear Knocks Out Santa in San Gabriel Mountains

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A bear examines a stuff Santa toy on a trail above Glendora in December 2014. (Credit: Parliament of Owls/Robert Martinez)

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A Glendora photographer who has gained a following for his trail videos of San Gabriel Mountain wildlife posted a special holiday edition this week.

Robert Martinez set a toy Santa decoration in Big Dalton Canyon above Glendora just to have some fun and see how local animals would react.

The recording he captured had him laughing out loud.

In the video, which was posted to YouTube Tuesday, a large black bear can be seen approaching a stuffed Santa that’s been propped on what looks to be a game trail.

The bear gives the decoration a few sniffs and gnaws on the puff at the end of Santa’s hat a couple of times.

Then, unceremoniously but with perfect comic timing, the bear knocks Santa right on his face.

Martinez titled the video: “Merry Christmas! Santa gets KO'd by a Bear!”

“I haven't seen any bears on my cameras for a few months, so I was pleasantly surprised and happy that he knocked out Santa right in front of the camera,” Martinez said in an email.

The footage was captured on his newest trail camera, set up to record color at night, he said. Martinez thinks it shows the same “huge male bear” who has been recorded in a same spot several times before, though not in a few months.

His multiple trail cameras have captured some incredible footage, including a family of four mountain lions passing by in October.

Hooked by the possibilities of seeing wildlife in their natural habitat, Martinez first began setting up cameras in spring 2012. He goes to the Glendora mountain area every few days to download the footage, he told KTLA in October.

Holiday videos aren't unprecedented on Martinez’s Parliament of Owls YouTube channel. In October, Martinez captured video of a mountain lion encountering two Halloween decorations.

“A female mountain lion walked right in between them without a care in the world,” Martinez said. “She didn't even stop to check them out."

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