Order our children’s book entitled “The Story of Meatball 210 – The Hungry Bear.”
Early in the week of August 26, 2012, the infamous Glendale bear known as “Meatball” returned to the La Cañada Flintridge area near L.A. to scavenge for food and was filmed in at least two locations and seen in a homeowner’s swimming pool.
In response, the California Department of Fish & Wildlife dispatched a game warden to set culvert traps baited with bacon and honey to capture the bear. The compassionate decision was made to relocate Meatball rather than to euthanize him, which is often the fate of what Fish & Wildlife calls a “habituated” bear – one that’s not afraid to enter areas of human habitation.
One of the traps caught Meatball at approximately 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 29. Happily, no tranquilizer was needed to retrieve Meatball or to secure him in the transportation vehicle that brought him to Lions Tigers & Bears. He was placed in temporary quarantine at LTB, with the expectation that he would ultimately be sent to a wildlife center near Denver. However, changes in the law by the Colorado Division of Wildlife prohibits wild-bred animals from entering exotic animal sanctuaries in that state, so Meatball has found a permanent home at Lions Tigers & Bears.
Click on the pictures to see them full size:
| March 19, 2013. Project Updates – Meatball’s New Home & Our New Transport Trailer. Meatball continues to settle into life at LTB, and we have started grading and laying the groundwork for his new six-acre habitat. So far, generous donors have committed more than $110,000 to our new bear habitat, but we still have a long way to go to meet our projected budget of just
over $300,000. The new habitat will house not only the mischievous Meatball, but also any future bears we are able to rescue, whether from abusive or neglectful captive situations or those who, like Meatball, become acclimated to humans and can no longer live in the wild. We chose to build a second habitat rather than expand our existing habitat for two reasons. First, it would have been more expensive to renovate and expand the existing habitat due to construction challenges and the land where it is situated. Additionally (and more importantly), having two separate habitats gives us flexibility if some of our bears do not get along and cannot be housed together. Your contribution today will help complete Meatball’s new home and pave the way for more bears to join the LTB family as the need arises – thank you for your generosity!Last year’s cross-country rescue-and-transport efforts revealed the woeful inadequacy of our two-animal trailer. We knew we would need a larger trailer to continue rescuing and transporting multiple animals, and also should we ever need to evacuate our own animals (due to wildfires, for example).Thanks to one very special anonymous donor and several other generous donors, our new, larger trailer is almost a reality! A grant from San Diego County, spearheaded by former Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, provided the transfer cages to outfit the trailer. A second grant of just over $16,000 from Las Patronas will provide the “squeeze cage,” a special piece of equipment to safely confine an animal for medical exams and other special situations.The new trailer will be priceless not just for rescues and evacuations, but also for use around the LTB ranch our. Thank you to our anonymous friend, Las Patronas, San Diego County, and former County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, for your generosity!
December 17, 2012. Meatball is now moved into his transition area, which includes additional space outside his bedroom for him to visit with Sugar Bear and the other bears.
November 7, 2012. Construction of the new bear habitat has also been going well. Meatball’s new bedroom is well on its way to completion,and clearing his new habitat area has created a lot of “furniture” for the existing bear habitat as well as for Tiger Trails.
October 6, 2012. As of today, we have received approximately $80,000 in donations (towards a goal of $250,000) for a new bear habitat, not only to house Meatball, but for future rescues as well. See Mike Lee’s story in the U-T San Diego. To donate to the new habitat, click the “Donate” button on the left side of this page or visit our “Many Ways to Help” website page.
Where is Meatball being kept right now?
Meatball is currently in our quarantine area. This is standard procedure for any new animal. The outside enclosure is surrounded by trees and shrubs, but is also protected from the elements. It includes a large water tub, enrichment toys and places for Meatball to hide.
Why is Meatball currently in quarantine?
New animals are required to remain in the quarantine area for at least 30 days to ensure the animal has no diseases or parasites that would be harmful to humans or other animals.
In addition to ensuring Meatball is free of diseases, it is important for him to acclimate to being in captivity. Quarantine is a customary and beneficial process, as it provides a “comfort zone” and reduces stress. Our vet, Dr. Jane Meier, will monitor Meatball’s progress and let us know when he is ready to be moved into the larger habitat. Read more…
“Meatball” the Bear May Stay in San Diego
WHY: A recent change in laws by the Colorado Division of Wildlife prohibits wild-bred animals from entering exotic animal sanctuaries in the state of Colorado. Pat Craig, founder of Wild Animal Sanctuary, is currently working with attorneys and the Colorado Division of Wildlife to see if there is any way to make an exception for Meatball.
NEXT STEPS: If Meatball is not allowed to go to Colorado, we will immediately begin fundraising for and building an individual bear habitat that would house Meatball. The total cost of this undertaking is unknown at this time, but Bobbi Brink, founder of LTB, estimates the cost to be well into the tens of thousands of dollars, not including the cost of a pool for this water-loving bear.
Update: At a meeting on Friday, September 7, 2012, the Colorado Wildlife Commissioners failed to reach a decision about Meatball, so his fate is still uncertain. As a result, we have begun a campaign to raise funds to build a habitat for Meatball here at LTB.
HOW TO HELP: SDG&E has generously offered to donate the 26-foot wooden poles needed to build the new bear habitat, and additional organizations and individuals have offered to assist in construction to help expedite the process. Individuals wishing to donate to the bear habitat fund can call (619) 659-8078 or visit our “Many Ways to Help” website page.
“Meatball” the Bear Finds a Temporary Home at LTB
Early in the week of August 26, the infamous Glendale bear known as “Meatball” returned to the La Cañada Flintridge area near L.A. to scavenge for food and was filmed in at least two locations and seen in a homeowner’s swimming pool.
In response, the California Department of Fish & Game (DFG) dispatched a game warden to set culvert traps baited with bacon and honey to capture the bear. The compassionate decision was made to re-locate Meatball rather than to euthanize him, which is often the fate of what DFG calls a “habituated” bear – one that’s not afraid to enter areas of human habitation.
One of the traps caught Meatball at approximately 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 29. Happily, no tranquilizer was needed to retrieve Meatball or to secure him in the transportation vehicle that brought him to Lions, Tigers and Bears. He will eventually be sent to a wildlife center near Denver.
He arrived in Alpine at about 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, and was immediately placed in quarantine. He seemed to like his temporary new home, and we fell in love with this sweet bear immediately. Once again, Founder Bobbi Brink has saved the day and has agreed to transport the bear to his permanent home herself. “Meatball’s situation,” she said, “is a clear example of why people should not feed wildlife. There are many bears just like Meatball in need of rescue because humans do not understand the true consequences of interacting with wild animals.”
We would love to provide a permanent home for Meatball right here in San Diego, but we have run out of room in our current bear habitat. Because so many bears find themselves in the same predicament as this confused bear, we are desperately seeking donations to expand our habitat so as to accommodate future rescues of habituated animals. Meanwhile, we are thankful that Lions Tigers and Bears was able to provide Meatball with temporary care and sanctuary until he could be transported to his new, lifetime home.