The city of Sierra Madre has scrapped at least one community event over concerns that a bear could crash the party.
A Friday night family campout in Memorial Park dubbed ‘A Night Under the Stars’ has been canceled due to a series of bear sightings and break-ins over the past several days, KTLA has learned.
On Wednesday, a homeowner was startled when she returned to her home on South Hermosa Avenue to find a bear enjoying food from her refrigerator. Officers arrived, but the bear eventually wandered off on its own.
Later that day, a bear – likely the same one – was seen on video taking a dip in a pool on the same street.
Then, early Friday morning, a large black bear was seen rummaging through trash in Monrovia, a community adjacent to Sierra Madre in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Wildlife sightings and encounters are common in the foothills, particularly in the fall when bears gorge themselves before hibernating for the winter.
In April, Sierra Madre city leaders declared bears a public safety emergency and blamed the California Department of Fish and Wildlife which, they say, has not done enough to manage the population.
Former mayor Glenn Lambdin says there have been four bear attacks on humans since 2016 in Sierra Madre – the highest concentration of attacks anywhere in California, he says.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife has created an education series called Keep Me Wild which outlines how to live safely with wildlife.
Among its recommendations is to keep food and trash contained and inaccessible, wait to put trash out until collection day, keep windows and doors closed and locked, and to not hang bird feeders.