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Meatball, the bear, to stay in California!

Guess he cannot be in Colorado! 😉

The California Department of Fish and Game confirmed today that the 400-pound black bear known as “Meatball” that was captured in Los Angeles County and cared for in Alpine, in the San Diego County foothills, will remain in California and NOT be moved to Colorado!

Meatball (he likes to eat meatballs) is a 5-year-old bear that was found in the swimming pool of a home in La Cañada Flintridge home on August 29. This was Meatball’s third visit to suburbia in recent months from the Angeles National Forest.

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) trapped Meatball with a bait made from bacon and honey and sent him to Lions Tigers and Bears in Alpine with plans to eventually transfer him to a 720-acre sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado.

HOWEVER, a Colorado statute says that “no wildlife taken from the wild shall be possessed by any wildlife sanctuary.” :-) According to

A DFG statement issued Tuesday said, “It unlawful in Colorado for the owner of a wildlife sanctuary to possess a bear taken from the wild. Out of respect for Colorado law, we do not intend to allow the bear to be transported there.”

The statement said it appeared that Meatball was being cared for well in Alpine.

Bobbi Brink, director of Lions, Tigers and Bears, said that they recent took in another bear, which puts the 93-acresite at capacity, so that they need to build Meatball a den and an outdoor area to roam. San Diego Gas &Electric has offered to donate 26-foot poles for the project. Brink said:

“As a wild animal, he doesn’t understand how to live in an enclosure or that it’s OK to eat food provided by people,” Brink said. “All of his instincts are telling him to run for the hills and that he can’t trust the people around him.”

He also needs complete veterinary and dental checkups, a microchip and will have to be neutered, she said.

The sanctuary asked anyone wishing to donate to the cause to contact Lions, Tigers and Bears at (619) 659-8078.

-Bill at

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