Thursday, March 22 , 2018, 6:57 am | Light Rain 60º


Local News


Bear Found Prowling About Santa Maria Neighborhood Relocated to Wild

100-pound male bruin tranquilized after being discovered in yards not far from Marian Regional Medical Center

A bear discovered in a northeast Santa Maria neighborhood on Saturday morning was tranquilized so it could be relocated away from populated areas. Click to view larger
A bear discovered in a northeast Santa Maria neighborhood on Saturday morning was tranquilized so it could be relocated away from populated areas. (Santa Barbara County Animal Services via Facebook)

Residents in a northeast Santa Maria neighborhood discovered a surprise visitor — a bear — in their yards early Saturday.

Santa Maria police and Santa Barbara County Animal Services responded to the scene just before 5 a.m. while awaiting the arrival of a wildlife officer from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Police Sgt. Russ Mengel said the bear was spotted in a neighborhood in the 200 block of North Palisade Drive, north of East Main Street a few blocks from Marian Regional Medical Center.

Authorities tranquilized the animal so it could be relocated to a better-suited habitat, Mengel added.

“The bear was about 2½ miles from open space with no direct route back to its habitat so our officers immobilized the bear,” said Janice Mackey, spokeswoman for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The male bear weighed approximately 100 pounds and was in “relatively good health,” she added.

The animal was successfully immobilized and returned to its habitat, she said.

“You just never know what might turn up in our residential neighborhoods, especially as we endure these drought conditions,” Animal Services officials said on Facebook.

This is the second bear incident in the North County in recent months. In July, Lompoc police also handled a report of a bear in a neighborhood near the Santa Ynez River. That bear ended up returning to the riverbed on its own.

To avoid attracting wild animals, state game wardens recommend residents remove any possible water or food sources. Additionally, pets should be locked up overnight since wild animals are more active in the evening and near dawn.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >