Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Bear Back in The Meadows

Here's a series of emails that have been posting today regarding the return of a bear to The Meadows. The headline is that a large bear is appearing at the top of Risinghill as early as the afternoon. Please be safe and that includes your pets as well.

Here is the string of emails, all very interesting conversation:

FIRST EMAIL: Hi Meadowans!

Who else would it be? It is Day Ryan...again. This time to inform you of the above.

We who live at the top of Rising Hill, Canyon Crest and El Prieto usually see the proof of the bear on Sunday and Monday evenings...the nights before our trash pick up...and view it as no big deal.

Well now the bear has been hanging around a little more frequently and what concerns me and my parents is that it has been much earlier in the evening.

This past Monday evening my dad spotted the bear while coming home at approximately 9:30P. It ran from our neighbors driveway across the street and down towards the canyon. Last night at 9:00P, my dad heard our trash can fall over and could hear the bear rummaging though the trash. My dad banged on the door in our garage and the bear moved to the end of our driveway. eating something it found. I ran to the window and could see this BEAUTIFUL beast and I must say it is a WHOPPER in size! It then waddled across the street to Lacy's yard and walked towards the back and I'm sure up the hillside.

Now, I am no Jack Hannah nor work for the National Geographic however, I strongly believe that it is a pregnant female. When I say that it was was waddling like it was carrying a heavy load!

I wanted to sound the alarm to you to just PLEASE be careful when you come home after dark, take the garbage out or go to your car no matter what time it is. Again, I have been accustomed to knowing that the bear would come down the mountain during the hours of 11:00P until 4:00 or 5:00A.

Thanks for your time!!!


The bear was also spotted at the top of Risinghill on Sunday afternoon at about 4:30 by some hikers, and I saw it on Monday night at about 11:00 pm, standing in front of my house (4595 Risinghill). It went across the road and down into the canyon.This is the larger of the two bears that we see around. The smaller one is the one we usually see (small and large being relative - I would say that the smaller one is about 300 lbs, the bigger one is about 450), but the bigger bear has been around lately. It is much slower-moving than the smaller one, holds its head a little lower, and is not as willing to move away when it sees people. It was dark when I saw it, of course, but from what I could see it did not look pregnant. It would be an odd time of year for a bear to be in an advanced pregnancy - they usually give birth in January then disappear for a few months nursing the cubs in a den. Although, with global warming and generally messed-up weather, nothing would surprise me anymore. (But wouldn't it be incredibly exciting if we got to see baby bears being raised in our neighborhood?! that would be so great!)The bear in front of my house was very busy eating something, but I couldn't see what it was. I went to look the next morning, and it had dug up some of the ground above the retaining wall and disrupted things a little, but I still couldn't tell for sure. There are a lot of snails around this time of year, and snails and slugs are yummy yummy bear treats, so maybe it was that.Both of 'our' bears are quite chubby - and that's a good thing. That means that they are getting plenty of their natural food supply and that they are healthy. A healthy, full-bellied black bear is not generally a threat to people. Remember that almost all the scary 'person-eaten-by-bear' stories are about encounters with brown bears (grizzlies), not our black bears, which are generally harmless unless you provoke them, scare them (in such a way that they feel cornered) or get between a mother and cubs. Because of where we live, pretty much any time we leave our houses there is the chance of encountering our native wildlife. As Day says, we just need to be alert to our surroundings, keep our pets and children under control and where we can see them, and when we do encounter wildlife, stay calm and enjoy the experience.

Thanks for the information regarding the bears. A possible explanation for their return is that someone appears to be putting out food (pellets and ripe avocados) by the water crossing on the fire road, just East of the El Prieto trailhead. Don't know what the intentions are for this, but just wanted everyone to be aware of it -- especially those walking dogs.

I have a strong suspicion that the person(s) who are putting any type of food out is the deer hunter. Unfortunately, he is also known (by the Dept of Fis & Game) to illegally trap and hunt bears.
A couple of months ago there was a mound of dog food foing by the water tank when you cross the small creek in the fire road.

I'm willing to go pick up any food (bait) that anyone sees left out on the trails. I'm home during the day so I can do it in daylight. The only problem is, I don't know our trails well at all (not a big hiker), but if someone can maybe email me a map with the trails marked, so I can figure out where I need to go, I can make it my responsibility to get stuff like that off the trails whenever anyone sees it. Plus I can use the fruit for any baby animals that I am rehabbing at the time.

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