Bear tranquilized in Chatsworth and returned to mountains shows up in a Sylmar tree

Well-known to wildlife officials, the bear was transported to the mountains after her appearance Tuesday in Chatsworth, but didn't stay long.

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A familiar face turned up in a Sylmar neighborhood over the weekend.

A bear who was captured weeks ago the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and removed from a tree Tuesday in Chatsworth was found hanging out in another tree over the weekend in a Sylmar neighborhood. Known to wildlife officials as Yellow 2291, the bear with a tracking collar eventually came down from the tree in the northern San Fernando Valley.

She's the same bear spotted Tuesday south of the 118 Freeway in the west San Fernando Valley community of Chatsworth. Video showed the bear climbing over a chain-link fence, then scaling a tall tree. She was tranquilized, loaded into a pickup bed and hauled back into the mountains, but didn't stay long, making another journey down the mountain a few days later into Sylmar.

The female bear between the ages of 3 and 5 is no stranger to wildlife officials. She was captured in the Claremont area, located about 50 miles from Chatsworth in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, in late May and taken to Angeles Nation Forest, state wildlife officials said. Authorities have been monitoring the bear since then, tracking its movement with the collar along the 210 Freeway corridor and into the Malibu area.

“She actually has had some of the most interesting collar data that we've ever seen,” Jessica West, an environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told NBCLA last week. “She's just wandering. It might be a little more typical to see that with a male bear, just because being male, they do tend to have, you know, bigger home ranges."

Authorities tried to trap the bear July 1 in the Northridge area before it showed up in Chatsworth. After she was tranquilized, the bear tumbled from the tree onto mats provided by a nearby gym.

About bears in California

Black bears, which can have different color coats, like to feed on plants, insects, nuts, berries and whatever else they think of as edible -- such as the contents of trash bins. If food is scarce in their natural habitat, bears are likely to forage elsewhere, bringing them into Southern California foothill neighborhoods.

California's black bear population has been on the rise over the last two decades, growing from an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 in the early 1980s to between 25,000 and 30,000 -- and that's a conservative estimate, according to the state department of fish and wildlife.

Black bears, recognized by their small, narrow heads and small ears, have coats that range in color from tan or brown to black. Females grow up to about 200 pounds and males can be a hefty 350 pounds with some giants weighing in at more than 600 pounds.

About half of the state's bear population can be found in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and areas to the north and west. Only an estimated 10 percent of the black bear population inhabits central western and southwestern California.

Although its on the state flag, the fearsome grizzly bear no longer can be found in the California wild. The last grizzly bear observed in California was shot in the early 1920s.

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