A black bear chase that went through a school, church, golf course, and the streets of the Granada Hills neighborhood in Los Angeles ended on Tuesday when the animal was shot with a third tranquilizer dart. According to KTLA, the 11-hour chase began when the bear was spotted around 7 a.m. near a local church. Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) arrived on the scene to find the 250-pound bear in a tree near a school. Conservation officers waited for the young animal to come down while police officers escorted students to safety.
After the bear seemed a little too comfortable in its new “home,” police requested the aid of an LAPD helicopter to frighten the bear out of the tree. As it came down the animal was shot with a tranquilizer dart, but fled through backyards into a golf course. During the chase the bear was hit with another tranquilizer but managed to keep moving. The Los Angeles Daily News reported that it eventually disappeared into the dense brush of the golf course’s south side and DFW officers had to track the animal on foot. For several hours the animal eluded capture before it reappeared on residential streets. Isolated on a hillside, officers were able to shoot the bear with a third and final tranquilizer dart, causing it to roll into a cluster of bushed behind a home. Officers then recovered the animal and moved it onto a truck, where it was transported to a holding facility. DFW officials said the bear will be eventually be released to the Los Padres National Forest.
“In my 25-plus years, this is probably one of the most difficult tranquilizing events I’ve ever been to, or capture events I’ve ever been to,” said DWF Captain Mike Stefanak.
As it turns out, the bear had already been in the area before. Wildlife officials relocated the animal in June and released in near Pyramid Lake. DWF officers hope that by sending the bear deeper in the national forest, it will stay put this time.
Media reports differ on whether it took three or an astounding six darts to finally subdue the young black bear. Video of the chase can be seen here.