Bear reportedly takes midnight dip in Granada Hills pool

A bear was reported lounging in a residential pool in Granada Hills before it headed back into the hills, authorities said.

The dip was first reported at 12:25 a.m. in the 16300 block of Knollwood Drive, and the bear was located about 30 minutes later in a different area, said Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Luis Aguilar of the Devonshire Division.

“We typically let them roam and see if they’ll head back into their area,” Aguilar explained, adding L.A. Animal Services also responded to the incident.

Aguilar said a two-man unit with supervisor and air ship responded to make sure the bear headed back into its habitat.

Sara Ebrahimi, a spokeswoman for L.A. Animal Services, confirmed her department responded but said they did not spot the bear. Ebrahimi added her organization does not keep records of bear sightings, but it does track when they respond to calls and they have not seen an increase in calls this year, despite several recent media reports of such sightings around Southern California.

His advice for residents when they encounter a bear is to keep their distance and call the proper authorities.

“They’re wild animals, so it’s not safe to approach because you don’t know what their temperament is. I wouldn’t approach it because they can get scared. We’ve had times where there’s young bears and obviously a protective mother bear is going to react differently with her cubs.”

Andrew Hughan, of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said bears are very curious and love smells, so residents should make sure to clean up their backyards and prune any fruit trees to keep them away.

A CBS2 report said this was the third time the bear had been in the neighborhood but Aguilar could not confirm that information.

If the television report was true, “something is bringing the bear there and it’s not the swimming pool. Some smell is bringing the bear there. That individual home or one around them,” Hughan said.

The bear spotted on Friday is the second one gaining national attention in the greater Los Angeles area. The first was spotted near the Pomona Fairplex Thursday before it scared some residents and climbed a tree near the Metrolink station parking lot. Department of Fish and Wildlife officers eventually tranquilized the bear when it climbed the tree.


The common connection between both incidents is the bears are looking for food, Hughan explained.

“They’re always eating,” Hughan said. “They’re always looking for their next meal.”

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