UPDATE 2 p.m.: As of Wednesday afternoon, the bear’s whereabouts are unknown, according to sheriff’s officials.
“The goal is to protect them and help them make their way back to the wild,” said Shirley Miller, spokesperson for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. “As a precaution, keep an eye on your small pets.”
ORIGINAL STORY: Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies investigated a return visit from a bear to a Valencia neighborhood late Tuesday evening.
Shortly after 11:30 p.m., deputies were dispatched to the 26000 block of Laguna Court in Valencia, after officials became aware of social media posts involving reports of a bear in the neighborhood, according to Deputy Christopher Tomlinson of the SCV Sheriff’s Station.
After learning of the reports about a bear in a tree, the watch commander “decided to send units into the area to ascertain the validity of the posts,” Tomlinson said.
Deputies did in fact find a bear, but the animal was in the tree and not causing a disturbance as of about 12:45 a.m. Wednesday, he added.
Officials with the Department of Fish and Wildlife were contacted but did not respond, according to Sheriff’s Station officials. Without any means to safely take the animal into custody, deputies on scene maintained a perimeter to try to prevent an incident.
“He was acting peacefully at the time, he didn’t appear to be agitated, so we just kept our distance,” Tomlinson said. “‘Don’t poke the bear,’ as they say.”
At some point, the bear reportedly climbed down the tree and was in a backyard between Laguna Court and Via Catalina, not far from Valencia Valley Elementary School, around 1 a.m.
Deputies remained in the area to monitor the situation, as well as to advise residents to stay indoors, and make sure their pets were safely indoors, also.
This latest sighting is about a mile from where a bear was spotted Tuesday morning, around 6 a.m. at the Santa Fe Condominium complex, which is on the 23800 block of W. Del Monte Drive.
Two other residents also reported seeing a bear Monday near Stevenson Ranch Elementary School.
This is a breaking news story and more information will be added as it’s available.
Cory Rubin contributed to this report.