A black bear that wandered onto the beach at Rincon Point was in poor physical condition and ultimately had to be euthanized, state Fish & Wildlife officials told Noozhawk on Sunday.
The adult male bear — weighing 250-300 pounds — was first spotted Saturday afternoon in the residential enclave at Rincon Point, on the border of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
The bruin likely came down Rincon Creek, and wandered through the neighborhood and out onto the beach, where it provided plentiful photo opportunities for stunned onlookers.
Game wardens were called out and monitored the animal’s behavior, said Lt. J.C. Healy of the state Fish & Wildlife Department.
“The bear was on Rincon Beach, running around,” he said. “He finally settled on a hillside near some water.”
The wardens were hoping the animal “would go back to more suitable habitat,” but by Sunday morning, it had not moved.
“At 6 a.m. today (Sunday), the bear was still there, and it appeared very lethargic,” Healy said. “Wardens approached and tranquilized the animal.”
He said the bear was taken to a special facility that is licensed to take care of such animals, and was examined by a veterinarian.
“Unfortunately, the health of the bear went downhill, and he had to be humanely euthanized,” Healy said.
An examination revealed the bruin — “probably a normal, middle-aged bear” — had worn out, old teeth, he said.
“He probably came down looking for an easy food source,” Healy added. “It’s hard to find food and water up in the backcountry. He was probably just trying to find some sort of sustenance.”
No necropsy is planned on the bear, officials said.
— Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.