MONROVIA, CA — Monrovia is famous for furry friends that occasionally drop in from the San Gabriel Mountains to rummage through the garbage or chill in a pool.
But it might be a sign that black bears are a little too at home in Monrovia when they brawl for territory in the middle of the street.
A resident’s security camera recently captured a video of two bears grappling on a quiet residential street. Bear growls cut through the silence as the bears swipe at one another. Finally, one bear gets the upper hand and chases the other bear across the street and up a driveway.
Fortunately, bear brawls are still rare in the Monrovia area. Bears, however, aren’t.
Last year, a Monrovia man found a pregnant mother bear and her cub setting up their den underneath his house, and two bears were captured on video breaking into a car in the area only to then get stuck inside.
The city takes pride in its proximity to bear country, putting up a statue of the famously bold 500-pound California black bear known as Samson. Samson was beloved in 1994 when was frequently seen rummaging for food and lounging in Monrovia hot tubs. One day he was sickened after ingesting a plastic bag and was set to be euthanized. But the governor stepped in to stay his execution, and Samson was allowed to live out the rest of his life in a zoo.
Though beloved, bears can be every bit as fierce as they seem during their street brawl this week. wildlife officials have issued a series of tips to help residents co-exist with the bears of Los Angeles County.
Bear Facts, Courtesy of the Department of Fish & Game and the Los Angeles Sheriff;s Department:
• It is always wise to give a bear as much room as you possibly can. If you see a bear in a residential community, leave the area and call 9-1-1.
• Bears don’t want to play, they just want humans to go away.
• Gatherings of people watching the bears, smelling like humans and making noises scare the bears. Once scared, they just want to go home to the forest. You can help them by going home too.
• Bears are wild animals and unpredictable.
• Mama bears are especially protective of their cubs.
Stash Your Food and Trash
Bears and other animals are attracted to anything edible or smelly. So, store garbage in bear-proof containers, or store garbage in your garage until pick-up.
• Keep food indoors or in airtight and odor-free containers.
• Put away picnic leftovers; clean BBQ grills.
• Keep pet food inside, and bird feeders away.
• Pick up fallen tree fruit as soon as possible, or protect fruit trees with electric fencing.