MALIBU (CBSLA.com) — National Park Service cameras have captured images of a black bear in Malibu Creek State Park in the Santa Monica Mountains, which hasn’t had a resident bear population since the 1800s.
The images of the bear, which were captured July 26, came from two camera traps set up in Malibu Creek State Park.
Researchers could not say how old the bear is just based on the images, National Park Service spokesman Zach Behrens said.
According to the National Park Service, the Santa Monica Mountains have not had a resident bear population since the 1800s, when grizzlies were wiped out from California. There is a fairly “robust” settlement of black bears in the Santa Susana and San Gabriel mountains bordering Los Angeles to the north, so the bear could have originated from that area, Behrens said.
It is rare for a bear to be found south of the Ventura (101) Freeway, but not unheard of – in 2014, a bear was killed on a 101 Freeway off-ramp in Westlake Village.
“Occasionally one has wandered and that could be the case here,” Behrens said.
Researchers will be checking camera traps around Liberty Canyon – where a wildlife crossing in neighboring Agoura Hills has been proposed – to see if the animal may have crossed in that area.