'Lost' 200-Pound Black Bear Ends up in Backyard Tree in California Town

A "lost" black bear was spotted 40 feet up a tree in the backyard of a home in Marin County, California, on Thursday.

Police arrived at the house in the town of San Anselmo at around 4:45 p.m. after residents reported seeing the 200-pound animal in the yard, ABC 7 reported.

As word of the bear sighting spread around the neighborhood, which is just a few blocks from downtown, locals began to gather hoping to catch a glimpse of the animal.

"It's majestic and beautiful but it must be scared," one neighbor, Natalie Harvey, told KTVU FOX 2. "I hike and I think about mountain lions all the time, but I've never heard of a bear around here."

The bear appeared to be healthy and showed no signs of aggression, even seeming to fall asleep at one point.

Wildlife officials arrived at the house later that day. Before they got to the scene, however, the bear tried to climb down the tree, forcing police officers to bang pots and pans to try to keep the animal where it was.

In a statement issued at 7:20 p.m. on Thursday, Central Marin Police said officials from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife had formulated a plan to allow the bear to come down from the tree on his own and then to monitor his path back to open space.

In order to do this, experts said the bear would need a calm environment. This led police to clear the streets around the house.

WE HAVE EYES ON THE BEAR! Here’s the bear up in a tree in the backyard of a home in San Anselmo. Neighbors spotted it and called 911 dispatch. California Fish & Wildlife is on its way. pic.twitter.com/6RP34KsqT8

— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) May 14, 2021

"All residents on Tamalpais Avenue are asked to shelter in place, with their doors, windows, and garage doors closed," Central Marin Police said in the statement issued at 7:20 p.m.

"The road is closed to all vehicle and foot traffic and all pedestrians have been directed out of the area."

Margo Rohrbacher of Central Marin Police told KTVU: "The bear experts have told us the bear is more scared of us than probably we are of him, but the plan is to clear everyone off the streets."

At around 7:45 p.m., the bear made its way out of the tree and, with the encouragement of first responders, ran through the yard and into open space near the base of Mt.Tamalpais—where officials said it had been living recently and would hopefully remain.

"This was a great resolution. We're really pleased he's fine and headed back to where he belongs, and he's probably relieved too," Rohrbacher said.

At this time of year, adolescent black bears leave their mothers in order to establish their own territory, sometimes ending up in unusual places.

One neighbor, Justine Flaster, told KTVU: "The bear is lost and doesn't mean harm to anybody. It's probably just trying to find water."

Police asked residents to secure any outdoor trash or pet food indoors for the next 24 to 48 hours out of an "abundance of caution."

"If you see the bear, keep at least 100 yards away from it, do not approach the bear and call 911," police said.

"The bear population is growing, and sightings have become common in Sonoma County but [are] very unusual in Marin."

A black bear
Stock image of a black bear. Residents of a California neighborhood gathered to catch a glimpse of a black bear that wandered into a backyard on Thursday. iStock

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