College is where youth set out on their own, but UC Davis was not the right fit for this one Tuesday.
Before dawn, a male black bear, weighing about 100 pounds, was spotted on the southside of campus between the arboretum's redwood grove and Old Davis Road.
“When I got to the scene about half past seven, it was up a tree by the Hyatt hotel on campus,” said Andy Fell, a spokesperson for the university. Officials with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife responded, along with local police and fire.
When spooked, bears climb trees. Officials cleared a perimeter to give the bear space. That worked, and the bear climbed down. Then the wildlife team shot it with a tranquilizing dart.
Before the tranquilizer could take effect, it climbed up another tree, then passed out and fell down, Fell said. The wildlife team examined the bear and did not find any broken bones or major injuries.
But the bear's tenure as an Aggie was brief, as it was released to the "closest suitable habitat," which you can see here:
So why was the bear on campus? It was likely kicked out of its home by a mother who just had cubs, officials said. Fish and Wildlife Officer Kyle Glau said that while the bear is not a cub, it is a younger bear.
“It’s a younger bear looking for his own home territory,” Glau said. “He was looking to solve three simple needs: food, water and habitat. And he happened to run up on UC Davis Campus.”
“It’s rare, it’s unexpected, but it’s not impossible. It might happen again,” he added.
Bear sightings were also reported Monday in Vacaville and Dixon.