Looking Forward to a ‘Beary’ Good Time
Anyone who lived in the foothills over the last four years has seen a change in our local wildlife. After the Station Fire, many animals that were rarely seen became almost commonplace in our foothill neighborhoods. The fire destroyed the food source of many of these animals driving mountain lions, bobcats, and even bears from the wild onto our streets and sometimes even into our yards.
Then there was the bear that made himself comfortable at a Glenwood Oaks home, noshing on meatballs discovered in an outdoor refrigerator. And while he settled into the neighborhood, he also found his way into the hearts of the nation.
Meatball the bear, his name reflecting his affection for those meat treats, is thought to have traveled among the neighborhoods and wooded areas surrounding Glenwood Oaks, Mountain Oaks, the hillsides of the Verdugos and Upper Briggs Terrace from 2009 until he was captured and relocated to Lions, Tigers and Bears sanctuary in Alpine near San Diego in August 2012.
It was back in April 2012 when the nation became aware of Meatball after he was captured on video traveling through a Montrose neighborhood one morning. Who can forget the sight of a resident exiting his condo talking on his cellphone and almost walking right into the bear? Glendale resident Sarah Aujero created a Twitter account and sent out tweets further raising the visibility – and personality – of Meatball.
Lumbering through Montrose earned Meatball a trip to the Angeles National Forest but not before he got that distinctive 210 tag.
Crescenta Valley Weekly was the first to share the news of his return when he popped into the yard of the MacDonald home on Canyonside the following June. After making his way south to Foothill Boulevard, Fish and Game came out and tranquilized him for another trip to the forest.
But if nothing else, Meatball was tenacious and it wasn’t long before he was heard knocking over the trash cans along Ocean View Boulevard and regularly visiting the Brown home. Working closely with Fish and Game, the Browns arranged to have a transport tube set up in their backyard and it wasn’t long until Meatball was trapped inside.
Since it was obvious that Meatball wouldn’t stay put in the forest, it was decided that he needed a more secure home. Luckily Lions, Tigers and Bears took him in and he’s called the sanctuary home since August 2012.
The bear that couldn’t stay away will be immortalized on Jan. 1, 2014 when his likeness travels down Colorado Boulevard on the City of Glendale float during the Tournament of Roses Parade.
Over the months, donations have been sent to LT&B to help build a habitat for Crescenta Valley’s favorite bear. Prom Plus Club has been at the forefront of many of those efforts, collecting money that has been forwarded to the sanctuary.
To provide additional financial support for LT&B in housing Meatball and for the City of Glendale to build the float that showcases Meatball, a fundraiser is being held on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at Deukmejian Wilderness Park, 3429 Markridge Road in La Crescenta. For a tax deductible $20 donation, folks can come taste meatballs prepared by local restaurants, visit information booths for LT&B, Prom Plus and L.A. Fish and Game. Music will be provided by Verdugo Swing Society.
Back in 2012, Fish and Game warden Andrew Hughan said, “The fate of the bear depends on the people up there.” Well, we have a chance to make a big impact on the fate of Crescenta Valley’s favorite bruin this Saturday.
CV Weekly is a sponsor of this fun event so I hope to see you there.