Bear, cub spotted in Castaic neighborhood

Bear and its cub spotted in a Castaic neighborhood Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Photo: Cara Gayle Cherry Photography
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Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s deputies responded to yet another “bear in the backyard” sighting Wednesday, as a mother bear and her cub were seen in a Castaic neighborhood.

Deputies arrived at the scene around 2 p.m, according to Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station. “I heard we received several phone calls from residents who said they saw a mother bear and her cub in a tree on Oak Valley Road in Castaic.”

The situation concerned local residents, who also contacted The Signal with reports the animals had been rummaging through their trash cans, walking through backyards and even cooling off in local pools.

One neighborhood resident, Cara Cherry, said she and her next-door neighbor had children outside playing while the bear showed up just feet away, walking on their backyard fence.

“(The bear) walked up the side of my neighbor’s house and went up the wall into her backyard, crossed over and came onto our wall,” Cherry said. “The mama went over the wood fence and the baby couldn’t figure out how to get up, so the baby sat down and squealed for a little bit before mama came back into our yard to grab the baby. And away they went up the tree.”

Cherry added she was lucky she happened to go into the house or she never would’ve heard her neighbor’s warning that the wild animal was so close to their children.

“Being on this side of the street, we don’t usually see much nature,” Cherry said. “But it’s hot and they’re tired and they want water, which has dried up.”

Sheriff’s officials and local residents said the Department of Fish and Wildlife was contacted but does not plan to respond since they typically do not unless there’s a direct threat.

“I understand (the reasoning), but my problem is that there are little children playing,” Cherry said, adding the bear is visibly tagged by wildlife officials. “She’s a tagged bear from what I understand, and I would think with a tagged bear, they would relocate her. Or just take her back up into the hills.”

Neighbors on the scene Wednesday agreed with Cherry, stating it’d be the safest move for both the bears and humans in the area.

“For her to be out last night and again today, it makes me a little bit concerned that she’s going to take up residence on our street,” Cherry said, “I think it’s nice to see wildlife thriving. I just don’t want it to be at the expense of my pets or children.”

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