MONROVIA ( — A group of bears is called a sleuth.

But it doesn’t take an actual sleuth to figure out why Monrovia was Bear Central Sunday. Wild bears were all over the place. They’re hungry. They’re about to hibernate and bears are looking to pack on the pounds.

One small bear was seen frolicking in and around the 300 block of Norumbega Drive. After scrambling up a tree, Animal Control pepper-sprayed the bear. He then hopped a few fences, but made his way back to Oakcliff Drive back into the mountains.

Meanwhile, nearby … a mother and her cub foraged for food in the 700 block of Oakglade Drive. The two knocked over a series of garbage cans. Eventually, they made it back to Monrovia Canyon Park.

Rachel Kim, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, went to Monrovia to find out what was the big appeal for bears this day?

She spoke to the Sisters of Maryknoll who were about to begin daily noon Mass. As they prepared for worship, they told Kim the cook was prepping lunch.

Sister Phyllis O’Toole said, “Francisco was out grilling steaks.”

The smell was so enticing, a small brown bear showed up and started to dumpster dive nearby.  “The little bear stuck out his head and then thought he’d get out and go.”

Monrovia Police and Animal Control arrived at the same time. The bear made his getaway … only to be pepper-sprayed.

Kim also spoke to Monrovia resident George Crowder who was visited by the mother bear and her cub. Says Crowder, “We had everybody up at our house doing a pumpkin carving contest, and the bear came over the fence when we were carving. Apparently, bears like the smell of pumpkins.”

Crowder knows to give the bears ample space. “Especially if we see a cub with them, then we give them more space. We know moms can be very protective at those times.”

It’s not known if the cub who was pepper sprayed was the cub also seen later with the mother bear, but Sister Marie May is just glad the bear wasn’t hurt.  “He was one of God’s creatures that He gave us.”


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