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.