I live on Country Club Drive in Burbank where there is a serious bear problem.
There are neighbors who have lived here more than 50 years and had never encountered a bear until a couple of years ago.
Several months back, we had a mama bear with two cubs that were getting into trash cans. To eliminate that attraction, we kept our trash can in the garage. But the mama bear and her adolescent cubs are back.
Recently, I loaded the washing machine in my garage, and when I turned around there was a bear. There was nothing but the trash can between us. I yelled, as the guidelines suggest, and the bear lumbered down my driveway.
A few days later, our next-door neighbor heard a noise in her kitchen and found a bear in there. She yelled at him, and he exited her home. Then, I discovered one morning that my Jacuzzi lid was up and then realized the bear(s) had destroyed the cover. We emptied the water and now have it covered with a tarp.
Burbank Animal Control does nothing. They show up with an air horn and a lasso that looks like it’s made for a poodle. Similarly, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will only hand out brochures on how to live with the bears.
Our neighborhood, with many children and pets, cannot leave a window or door open now. I have a Jacuzzi that we can no longer use because the water attracts the bears.
In a year, the mama bear could produce another set of cubs. We are adjacent to the Villa Montana area, and they too could soon be living with the danger of bears.
Living right up against the Verdugo Mountains, we expect to deal with a lot of wildlife such as deer, mountain lions, bobcats, snakes, skunks and racoons. The bears are a different story.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife needs to do something. The bears should be tranquilized and relocated to another area away from people, because handing out brochures is not a solution.
First published in the June 17 print issue of the Burbank Leader.