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Black Bear Sightings In Sonora

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Sonora, CA — A momma black bear and her cub were caught on camera foraging along Knowles Hill Drive, off Church Street, in downtown Sonora on Monday.

The video in the image box shows the momma bear and cub chasing a raccoon before getting distracted by the vehicle’s headlights. The next night, close to that location, there were reports of the two also sniffing and clawing at items in the lower Save-Mart parking lot at the Downtown Plaza on Stockton Street in Sonora.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reports that bears come to more populated areas during the fall as they are bulking up for winter.

“If you see a bear in an urban area, we suggest notifying local law enforcement. Your local police or sheriff’s department will be in the best position to respond quickly and secure the area from a public safety standpoint,” CDFW officials said, adding that “local law enforcement can also contact CDFW and animal control authorities for assistance in coordinating a response.”

CDFW provided these tips on the appropriate response to seeing a bear in public places.

  • If there’s a threat to public safety, call 911. Seeing a bear walking through an elementary school or heavily populated area with people would warrant a 911 call.
  • Seeing a bear on the outskirts of town in a less populated area might warrant a call to your local police or sheriff’s non-emergency number. You might consider programming your local law enforcement non-emergency phone number into your phone.
  • If there are concerns about human-wildlife conflict, property damage, or to report sightings in the wild or rural setting, you may submit a wildlife incident report online to CDFW via the statewide Wildlife Incident Reporting System.

When bears enter urban areas, usually they are looking for food, noted state wildlife officials. They say the best way to keep a bear away from your property is to eliminate all enticing attractions, like unsecured garbage and pet food. Click here for more information.