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Marin Buzzes Over San Anselmo Bear Sighting; Officials Say He Was Likely Searching For Food

SAN ANSELMO (KPIX 5) – Marin County was still buzzing on Friday, nearly a day after a bear sighting in San Anselmo, with some residents wondering if they should expect more bears.

Meanwhile, wildlife officials told KPIX 5 that the bear was likely a first-time offender, a juvenile looking to establish new territory, got lost and then got hungry.

Licking his paws, perched in an old oak tree, the bear held court for three hours in the area of Tamalpais Avenue Thursday evening.

The bear, who weighed 200 pound bear was finally shooed out of the tree by Fish and Wildlife and running back to the wild.

If you're wondering how a bear wandered into central Marin County, it's not out of the question says Capt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"This bear for whatever reason came down and ended up in San Anselmo. That is definitely not usual, but it's not totally outside the realm of possibility," Foy told KPIX 5.

Foy said anywhere near the Point Reyes National Seashore and north of Mount Tamalpais is fair game for bears. This one was likely hungry.

"I think the animal is being attracted by food, its ended up in this area where it probably smells these human sources of food and that's most likely what's attracting it," he said.

KPIX 5 asked hikers and bikers in Natalie Coffin Greene Park on Friday if they're changing their outdoor strategy because of Thursday's sighting.

"It is a surprise and you know, I welcome it. Kind of a little like Tahoe, lots of bears. This area is a little populated for bears, but it doesn't scare me," said mountain biker Steve Aiello.

"If I came upon one right now, I have to admit, I'd be scared. I wouldn't know if I should run though or play dead or be quiet," said hiker Donna Hale.

Foy said if you run into a bear, the best thing you can do is to give it an exit route.

"You give it space. The most important thing to do is give the bear space and not put yourself in a position where you in between the bear and where the bear wants to go," he explained.

KPIX 5 asked Fish and Wildlife if the drought conditions could have driven this bear out of the mountains. They said there are still water sources up there and that his hunger for food was a likelier reason he ended up in San Anselmo.

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