For Meatball, or Glenbearian, as neighbors have dubbed the returning ursine, nothing tops off eight pounds of dog food like a good old McDonald's cheesburger.
Thanks to the bear's voracious appetite, a warden from the California Department of Fish and Game successfully lured Meatball into a trap at 4 a.m. Wednesday morning using a trail of French fries, DFG spokesman Andrew Hughan said. Meatball followed the fries dotting the 5000 block of Ocean View Boulevard into the trap baited with honey-smeared bacon and a burger.
"We got him,'' Hughan said, noting the bear had returned to La Cañada and La Crescenta several times over the past few months. He'd been spotted in La Cañada earlier Wednesday, wolfing a bag of dog food, when it occurred to the warden that he could probably eat a little more.
La Cañada resident Cory Ryken has seen Meatball trundling about his neighborhood several times. Ryken, who lives on La Forest Drive at Ocean View Boulevard, captured on video the bear pawing and gobbling his trash. The video is attached to this article.
He'd bought the surveillance camera to record any flood waters that gushed through his backyard. But after seeing the bear return to his neighborhood time and again, he decided to turn the lens on his trashcans.
“He’s getting a little too comfortable up here,’’ he said two weeks ago, after taking the video to Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station. Ryken said the bear seemed docile, but if it was surprised by an unsuspecting neighbor out for a late night or early morning stroll, he could have attacked.
"I just want our neighborhood to be safe,'' he told Patch.
And now with Meatball off to San Diego County, perhaps everyone's walk schedules will return to normal.
The bear was transported to the Lions, Tigers and Bears rehabilitation and animal sanctuary in Alpine, California, north of San Diego, and arrived at 1:20 p.m.
"He's going to live a very happy bear life,'' Hughan said.