A young bear cub took to a tree in a Neenach couple's front yard, Tuesday, Sept. 1. [Photo and story are Copyright 2009 The Mountain Enterprise and may not be used without permission.]Neenach residents Laura Copeland and Gary Futrell, along with neighbor Karen Driggs, wondered what they should do about the second bear cub to visit within a week.
Three bear cubs—recently released on Tejon Ranch after their mother was killed by a Frazier Park resident—have been sighted apparently trying to return to contact with human dwellings. [See previous stories "Trapped," and "Bear Shot After Mauling Dog, Charging People."]
On August 26, Laura Copeland and Gary Futrell found a tagged bear cub in a tree on their property in Neenach, near the southern base of the Tehachapi Mountains (Tejon Ranch).
Richard Zahnter reported seeing a small bear cub at 6:15 a.m. on August 27, crossing Highway 138 in the Neenach area, east of 300th Street West. It was headed south, toward the Liebre Mountain area. “The cub was young and I would guess about 30 pounds,” he said.
On August 31, at 3:15 p.m. Lebec resident Allan Elmaleh called The Mountain Enterprise to report a bear cub walking 30 feet east of Interstate 5, a half mile north of Gorman School Road. A reporter was dispatched but the bear was gone upon arrival.
The Neenach residents Laura Copeland and Gary Futrell called again on September 1 to report a different bear cub in a tree on their property in Neenach. “This one is much darker and smaller than the other one,” Coleman said. It may be following the scent of its sibling.
Futrell observed that there is a gash on the cub’s neck, as if it has escaped a predator. He strongly feels the cubs should be given “every consideration. They were here before us. We intruded on their habitat,” he said. “They’re not big enough to take care of themselves. You can see that.”
The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) was contacted about the treed cub. Wildlife Management Supervisor Kevin O’Connor said last week that the cubs are old enough to be released into the wild, according to DFG regulations. He also said he hoped they would survive without coming back to civilization.
LAST WEEK’S NEWS UPDATES on the Orphaned Bear Cubs
FRAZIER PARK, Calif. (Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009, 1 p.m.)—This is a consolidation of bear cub sighting reports since the three orphans were released on Tejon Ranch a week ago. Please begin reading at the bottom.
September 2, 2009, 4:10 p.m.—Report phoned in to The Mountain Enterprise by California Department of Fish and Game Wildlife Management Supervisor Kevin O’Connor is as follows: We captured a male bear cub at the property in Neenach today, which is the first male that was captured last week, and took him to a vet for treatment of an injury to his neck. The injury was not from other animals but appeared to be from contact with possibly a barbed wire fence. This cub will be released on Thursday in a more remote area.
September 1, 2009, 10:20 a.m.—Report phoned in to The Mountain Enterprise office by Laura Copeland and Gary Futrell of Neenach, is as follows: This morning a different, smaller, bear cub was found in a tree in the front yard of this residence in the Neenach area. This cub had injuries to its neck.
August 31, 2009, 3:54 p.m.—Report submitted by Richard Zahnter through the Breaking News link at the top of each www.MountainEnterprise.com web page is as follows: Thursday, Aug. 27, 6:15 a.m., Highway 138, between 290th and 300th street west. On my way into work in Santa Clarita, I spotted what I believe was the bear cub noted in your 8-27 article, about the captured and released youngster. It had crossed to the south side of 138 and was slowly walking towards the Liebre Mountain area, behind Three Points. Late n the afternoon of that same day, I traced its tracks into a stream bed of very dense undergrowth leading to the canyon above Cow Springs, across Pine Canyon Road. The cub was young; and I would guess about 30 pounds.
August 31, 2009, 3:15 p.m.—Report submitted by Allan Elmaleh of Lebec, is as follows: Small bear cub sighted thirty feet east of northbound Interstate 5, just a half mile north of Gorman School Road, as Elmaleh was driving past Gorman on I-5. A Mountain Enterprise reporter was dispatched, but the cub was gone upon arrival.
August 27, 2009, 3 p.m.—Following the capture of a third bear cub in Frazier Park Wednesday night, a couple in Neenach reported that a small bear cub wandered onto their property. Two bear cubs, believed to be siblings of the third cub, had been captured earlier in Frazier Park and released on Tejon Ranch Tuesday evening. Laura Copeland said she and Gary Futrell heard their seven dogs barking in front of their motorhome at about 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26. "I went looking and didn’t see anything. I looked up in the tree and he was just sitting there looking down at me," Copeland said in an interview Thursday. "We finally got the dogs inside and he climbed down. He looked around for the dogs and then ran toward the road. He kept running south toward Highway 138. He was scared to death, poor thing," she said. Futrell said the cub had a tag in its ear. "We read the newspaper article and were familiar with what happened in Frazier Park," he said. Neenach is a high desert community on Highway 138. Copeland and Futrell live at the southern base of the Tehachapi Mountains. Futrell said he is sure the cub must be one of the ones that Department of Fish and Game released Tuesday night on Tejon Ranch. See previous story. The Mountain Enterprise has notified the Department of Fish and Game about the sighting. Anyone who sees a bear cub is asked to call the Department of Fish and Game at 661-633-9801 and leave a message with your name, phone number, location and date/time of the sighting.
This is part of the September 04, 2009 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.