By Mary O’KEEFE
Meatball has been caught – again. This time in the backyard of an Ocean View Boulevard home and this time instead of transporting him into the Angeles National Forest he will be traveling to the Lions, Tigers and Bears rehabilitation and animal sanctuary in Alpine, just north of San Diego where he will be safe and taken care of.
“He is safe,” said Andrew Hughan, California Department of Fish and Game spokesman.
A DFG game warden used his experience and training to set a culvert trap baited with bacon and honey and captured the bear at approximately 4 a.m. this morning.
There have been numerous sightings of Meatball over the last several days as he went from home to home visiting, swimming in pools and dining on garbage.
The bear with the distinctive 210 tag on his ear had been captured and transported to the Angeles National Forest twice and has returned back to Crescenta Valley twice. Fish and Game determined for the safety of the bear it would be wise to transport him to the San Diego facility.
“It is a private facility that has agreed to take on the financial and moral responsibility of caring for the [bear],” Hughan said of Lions, Tigers and Bears. “[Meatball] was on the verge of being a problem. His behavior was more and more brazen.”
The concern was that the bear was becoming more like a pet then a wild animal. This type of scenario usually leads to a negative outcome including the animal attacking someone who feels he would be safe to feed. It is important to remember that bears are wild animals even though in Meatball’s case he behaves like a cuddly teddy bear.
At this time the bear is safe and secure and resting comfortably.
More of this story will be online and in the Aug. 30 issue of the CV Weekly.