Two black bears spotted in Santa Margarita

June 13, 2017

A black bear was spotted Monday evening munching on cat food on the front porch of a home in rural Santa Margarita.

On Tuesday morning, the bear was lounging under a tree as children left for school. Shortly before noon, the bear climbed on top of a truck and appeared unfazed when the owner approached the vehicle.

Following a call to The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, officer Teri Hickey arrived at the home and shot several bean bags rounds at the bear. Though the bear at first appeared to be unfazed, it then sauntered up a hillside. Hickey estimated the bear to be a 3 to 4 year old male.

Smaller black bear looking in a window of a home in Santa Margarita

About a mile away, a smaller black bear had set up residence at another home with pet food on the porch. For about a week, the family attempted to scare off the small black bear. Over the weekend, the family started bringing in pet food before evening and making sure dumpsters were secured.

Department of Fish and Wildlife Lieutenant Todd Tognazzini provided several suggestions for dealing with black bears, which rarely attack humans.

Do not leave pet food outside.

Make sure your trash is secured.

If the bear continues to be a nuisance, a shot of bear spray, available online, will usually drive the bear away.

Tognazzini is not aware of any known bear attacks in San Luis Obispo County.

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Years ago when I lived in Grover City, a black blear wandered into town. He did no harm to anyone. Finally, though, afraid, climbed a tall tree at the restaurant/casino on the corner of 4th and Grand and sat there looking down.

‘Course the testosterone driven police roared up and, rather than tranquilize and relocate the poor animal, decided to blow him out of the tree. First though, they had to wait until the cameras were rolling so they could set up their home video tapes. Completely unnecessary.

‘Don’t leave pet food outside’. Never met a cat owner that understood that. My neighbor leaves it out for the rats and everything else.