It’s pretty much anybody’s guess why a California black bear ended up in Orangevale last week.
He or she (it’s not all that easy to tell with a bear) had to be removed from suburbia on Friday and taken back to the wild. The brownish 250-pound animal was tranquilized with a dart and taken to a national forest.
Lt. Patrick Foy with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said that the bear was taken into custody in a backyard near the intersection of Hazel Avenue and Oak Avenue.
“It’s an odd place for a bear to show up,” Foy said. “While not common, I have, on occasion, over the course of my 17 years, seen bears reasonably close to the same area.”
Bear sightings had been reported in the area a day or two before the bear climbed a tree in the Orangevale backyard, affording a Fish and Wildlife expert an opportunity to take aim and tranquilize the animal.
Fish and Wildlife officials believe that the bear might have wandered down the Linda Creek corridor, which is nearby. The bear probably came from the foothills, where it is possible the animal was pushed out by more dominant bears.
Foy said the drought might have had something to do with its wandering, although the bear is not lacking for water.
“It’s a younger bear, probably looking for a place to call home,” Foy said. “These smaller bears have to find someplace to live and they can be pushed out by more dominant bears, sometimes to populated areas.”
Bears in other years have been spotted in Roseville, Folsom and El Dorado Hills, mostly surprise visits in which they have not stayed long.
There was no indication that the bear was causing problems by turning over trash cans or raiding picnic baskets.
During transport to the country its face was shrouded in an eye cover. Eye covers are used because bears tend not to blink when under the influence of drugs and eyes can dry out. Also, the cover protects eyes from being scratched by brush.