Did you see the wild bear in Victorville this past week? Where did it come from?
Several reports and pictures circulating on social media showed what experts believe is a young American Black Bear between 1 to 2 years old. The wild animal emerged in Victorville after traveling nearly 50 miles in 6 days.
The bear's previous sighting was seen in Kramer Junction and wildlife experts believe the bear made his untimely journey from Kern County.
Wildlife Biologist Jeff Villepique, who was exclusively referred to HD Daily News from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, says that it's not the first time an American Black Bear has been seen in the Mojave Desert. On average, it happens about once a year, with previous sightings of other bears being seen in Yermo and Twentynine Palms over recent years.
This specific bear, which had been tagged by wildlife officials, was seen just last Thursday out in Kramer Junction and experts believe the bear may have been seeking a new habitat. Officials say the sighting is an indication that there are more bears in the mountains than the mountain can hold as territorial issues get calculated into the equation. Experts also believe that the constant drought that California is facing may also be a factor on some wildlife's migration patterns.
Reports on Wednesday night from police to HD Daily News say that the bear was spotted near Village and Amargosa around 3:30 in the afternoon and deputies had been keeping an eye on it.
The City of Victorville reported that on Wednesday, Animal Care and Control officials as well as Victorville Police responded to reports of the bear in the neighborhood near Amargosa Road and Village Drive.
According to the city, after law enforcement arrived on scene, officers reached out to California Fish and Wildlife for assistance, however, they had been denied a response.
Officers then attempted to tranquilize the bear so it could be relocated humanely. However, those efforts failed and the bear ran into Mojave Drive where it was hit by a car and died.
Villepique was able to clarify why California Fish and Wildlife would not get involved. He says that when wildlife is "doing its thing," Fish and Wildlife does not intervene. It's generally assumed that the bear will continue on its way. The wildlife biologist also says that if the bear is not distressed or trapped, it's also advised that Fish and Wildlife won't intervene either.
Villepique says that the incident, as rare as it is in the High Desert, should be a reminder to everyone in the community that it's important to be alert and that the community does live among wildlife, something everyone should always be cautious of.