Here's the Eagle Rock bear wandering in the neighborhood | Photo KCBS

Wild Thing

2021 April Columnists Editions Lani Tunzi

By Lani Tunzi

Like many Eagle Rockers, I’ve been stoked at the news of the recent bear sightings.

First spotted on March 2, the bear was photographed strolling down Hill Drive in all its glory. The image was circulated on social media and quickly, the elusive animal became the talk of the town, even amassing a Twitter following under @EagleRockBear1.  

But what’s got me hooked on the bear is this: It’s been weeks — filled with sightings on ring doorbells and surveillance videos of a bear on the loose in Eagle Rock — and our four-legged friend has yet to be caught. Not to mention, there may be more than one.

Since its debut, the bear has been leaving traces of its whereabouts littered through the streets of Eagle Rock. Ripped apart trash bags, knocked over bins and shredded pizza boxes — pictures have been showing up on Facebook walls showcasing the bear’s latest moves. So far, it has seemed to stay in the hillsides below the 134 Freeway, venturing into backyards in the dead of night and hiding out of sight in the daytime.

As for me, I’ve started taking detours up through the dead ends off Hill Drive in the hopes of finding clues of the bear’s nighttime excursions. From the photos that have been taken, there’s debate over whether it’s a brown or black bear and whether there is one bear or several. Clear footage showed a bear with a tagged ear but some north-of-Hill Drive neighbors have sworn to have seen a bear with no such tag.

After evading police pursuit several times, the big guy/gal (?) seems to have everyone rooting for him/her. The bear’s safety is a primary concern of all who have been following its tracks; the hope being that the bear doesn’t attempt to cross the freeway.

One reminder: Though we’re excited about our wandering star, it has been advised to not approach the bear nor attempt to feed it.

As for city intervention, the Department of Fish and Wildlife will not attempt to remove or relocate the bear unless it becomes aggressive. Hopefully, it won’t come to that and the bear, having surprised and intrigued Eagle Rockers, will safely find its way back home.