Bears Live in California


Long time Bear Feeders may remember the ‘Bunny Count’.  This summary of a months animal sighting & oddities (a concept shamelessly stolen from Amy Fletcher on her statistical reports on bunnies) was in part intended to let people know what neat things I was seeing when living in Alaska … at the same time letting people know that bears haven’t killed me yet.  I stopped doing the bunny count because like after Alaska wasn’t so observational in it’s strangeness, so if there are no bunnies to count why count them.

I can tell you … I have something Bunny Count worthy.

Yesterday, I was driving home from work on my usual route – taking the 210 North and exiting at Ocean View Boulevard Exit.  As I reached the top of the ramp, I noticed the cars in front of me were moving slowly through the intersection.  It was that way that felt annoying, because there didn’t seem to be any reason for people to crawl through there.  Of course, there was a reason, a big brown furry reason, and as I approached the intersection myself I saw that reason.

There sauntering around the corner was a bear.

Brown bear to be exact.  Probably an adolescent, but not a cub for sure (that would have been dangerous with a mama lurking about).  Small for a brown bear, it seemed to be about the size of a full grown black bear – just not as cute.

Only only saw him for a couple of seconds, and then while passing through an intersection so no pictures, not selfies, no throwing fish lying about my car at him to get him to do tricks.

I did circle back to see him again, if at the very least to verify he is there and put a call into someone to manage the situation.  The loop back wasn’t as easy, so it was about five minutes before I got there.  By then it had moved up into some trees along the freeway – and Highway Patrol was parked nearby with eyes on it.  I did alert folks on my ‘Next Door’ app, but other than that the adventure is over.

That being said, I became acutely aware how many of the things that I enjoyed about Alaska are now prevalent in my current home.  Mountains … check.  Beer … check.  And now, Bears … check.

It was exciting because I have a thing for bears.  I mean … this blog is called the Bear Feed (so named because my pre-Alaskan “friends” were so sure that I would end up as bear feed up there).  Big, powerful, resourceful, yet gentle when they need to be; bears are always an amazing creature to see – all while respecting how dangerous it is to me, the pup, and anyone.  While I saw my first bear just a week after moving to Alaska, sightings there were rare.

Of course there are bears in California, but if I rarely saw them in Alaska why would I see them here.  That bear had to come down about 3 or 4 miles, cross at least one major road, and wander through large neighborhoods to end up where it ended up at.

So yeah … it was a cool drive home from work.

Bunny Count:  1 Bear


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