A couple of visitors to a mobile home park in Sonora briefly caused some trouble Monday evening, tearing through trash and climbing a tree.
Responding to a report of suspicious activity at Star Mobile Estates, Tuolumne County sheriff's deputies learned a mother bear and her cub were in the park. The cub climbed a tree, promptly followed by its very protective mama, the Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook.
Staff from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife went to the Jamestown Road property and and stayed on scene until the bears came down and went on their way.
"In settled areas close to bear habitat, bears may venture in searching for food," the Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post. The only bears in California are black bears, which, despite the name, range from blond to black, with cinnamon brown being the most common color.
There are about 35,000 bears in the state. Given the great numbers of people visiting and living in bear country, bears exhibit a high degree of tolerance to humans. Attacks are rare and typically are defensive in nature because the bear is surprised or defending cubs.
The post included a lot of tips from Fish and Wildlife, including:
- If you encounter a bear while hiking and it does not see you, back away slowly, increase your distance. Clap hands or make noise so the bear knows you are there and will move on.
- If you encounter a bear on the trail and it sees you, do not make eye contact. Slowly back away. Do not run. Let the bear know you are not a threat. Give it a way out. Black bears can sprint up to 35 mph and they are strong swimmers and great tree climbers.
- If a bear approaches you, make yourself look bigger by lifting and waving arms. Use noisemakers, or yell at the bear. If small children are present, keep them close to you.