Fish and Game Bear Re-location Policy Explained

Instead of shooting them or leaving them in neighborhoods, why can’t the Department of Fish and Game relocate problem bears to other areas? Some Mammoth residents have posed that question. When a story in the Los Angeles Times reported the relocation of a bear roaming neighborhoods in La Crescenta, the same question came up again.bears-in-campgrounds

The LA Times reported that Fish and Game agents and Sheriff’s deputies responded to the report of the bear wondering through neighborhoods. The Fish and Game agent shot the bear with a tranquilizer gun. The bear was then transferred to a truck and dropped off in the Angeles National Forest. Why can’t this happen to Mammoth’s bears?

Patrick Foy of the Department of Fish and Game said that most bears that come in contact with people are “too dependent on human food to be moved.” Foy said that in the case of the bear in the La Crescenta area, the bear was not habituated to human food and so was transported 20 air miles away.

Foy said bears used to human food would travel that far to get back to a neighborhood, so moving them is pointless. “The bears you see in dumpsters,” said Foy, “won’t be relocated. We just can’t do that. The bears go to great lengths to come back to human food.”


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