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Bear Prompts Lockdown At Shull Elementary School In San Dimas

SAN DIMAS (CBSLA) — Shull Elementary School in San Dimas was briefly placed on lockdown Wednesday because a bear was spotted on the campus.

bear san dimas
(credit: CBS)

Sheriff's officials confirmed at about 9:20 a.m. that a bear had been reported in the area near Shull Elementary, 825 N. Amelia Ave., prompting the campus lockdown, which didn't last long.

Susan Rogers said kids were still being dropped off at the school when she saw the bear going by.

"I just sat in my car, it came across the street, and I was like -- 'oh, hello,'" she said. "It's exciting, but I'm sad for the bear that it got displaced."

The bear apparently found a tree it liked right above a nearby home, and stayed there even as sheriff's deputies began arriving, and helicopters hovered in the sky above. At about 11:10 a.m., it scooted down the tree and made its way across the home's lawn, and was last seen disappearing into some nearby bushes.

Southern California bears don't fully hibernate because of the warm weather, but experts say that doesn't stop them from trying to fatten up and look for food in foothill communities. California Fish & Wildlife's Tim Daly said the bear was likely looking to do just that.

"You can see this bear went looking for bird seed and then avocados before she was eventually tranquilized," he said.

The neighborhood where the bear was found is about two miles and a freeway away from the mountains. Neighbor Carrie Pouliot says when her security system had alerted her to motion in her driveway, she came out expecting a coyote.

"And it was not a coyote. It got bigger and bigger and I said, 'oh my word!'" Pouliot said. "I may have said something else."

The bear was caught at about 11:30 a.m. and sedated, and has since been taken back to the Angeles National Forest.

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