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Bear Tranquilized After Getting Close to Pedestrians in California Parking Lot

A bear cub that got close to pedestrians on August 15 and 16 in Lake Isabella, California – near Bakersfield – was tranquilized on Tuesday, after reports of “a kook” feeding the bear.

This footage recorded by James Robert Allen shows a small bear wandering about the parking lot near Vons grocery store and O’Reilly Auto Parts. In one clip, a motorcyclist is heard revving their bike near the animal, as Allen is heard passionately urging people not to go near the cub. In another video, the bear is seen right next to a seated man, as Allen alleges that the man was feeding and trying to pet the wild animal all day.

Allen told Storyful the bear was “very young and appeared to be hungry.”

Allen also recorded video of the bear on August 16, after it had been tranquillized by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

According to local media, wildlife officials returned the bear to the forest. Credit: James Robert Allen via Storyful

Video transcript

JAMES ROBERT ALLEN: So I've lived in the Kern River Valley for years. I go to Mammoth every summer. I've been to Yosemite. I've never seen a bear before in real life until today, right here in the Vons parking lot. Everything's getting so dry up in the high country, I guess they got no place to go and they're desperate for food and water.

[POLICE SIRENS]

He wants to come say hi. Hi, Mr Bear. Are all these people freaking you out?

[INAUDIBLE]

Yeah.

[DOGS BARKING]

- Is he friendly?

JAMES ROBERT ALLEN: So I just need to say, a lot of you people are idiots. Apparently people have been feeding this bear all day long. Are you really that stupid? Do you not realize that when you feed this bear, he's going to keep coming into town, and then he's going to start expecting the food, and then he's going to start digging in people's trash cans, and then they're gonna kill him. So every time you give this bear food or water, you're basically murdering him.

[MOTORCYCLE REVS]

I know not all of you are doing this, but a lot of you are. And you people deserve the bad karma you're getting.

See how this bear is coming right up to this motorcycle? This is the third idiot on a motorcycle to run right up to the bear. Like, why would you even ride right up to the bear? There's other frickin' parking spots here. Don't tell me you gotta go to O'Reilly's. Just get away from the damn thing!

[MOTORCYCLE REVS]

Idiot.

- He's just a cub. He needs to go away.

JAMES ROBERT ALLEN: This guy here is the worst one. He's been feeding it all day. He keeps trying to pet the thing. Everybody needs to know that he's the one responsible when this bear gets killed.

So it just fell out of the tree. I didn't have my phone out quick enough. Some jerk honked at it earlier, so it ran all the way up to the top of the tree, which means it fell twice as far when it fell. You could hear the thunk all the way over here. I hope it's OK.