SANTA MONICA—The National Park Service (NPS) sedated and placed a tracking device on a Black Bear in the Santa Monica Mountains on April 23. The bear is 210 pounds and known as BB-12. Despite reported sightings, this is the first-time authorities were able to track a bear in the mountain range. BB-12 is a male bear believed to be 3-4 years old. The same animal is suspected to be photographed in the region in July 2021.
“He appears to be the only bear here in the Santa Monica Mountains, and he’s likely been here for almost two years based on our remote camera data,” said Jeff Sikich, the lead field biologist of the park.
“This seems to be our first resident bear in the 20 years we have conducted mountain lion research in the area. It will be interesting to see how he shares the landscape with our other resident large carnivores,” Sikich added.
According to the NPS, the closest black bears to BB-12 is the Santa Susana Mountains.
“There is no evidence of an existing population here in the Santa Monica Mountains, and therefore likely no females. With the radio-collar, we can track its movements and hopefully know where it may attempt to cross the freeway. This can help us better understand habitat connectivity for wildlife in the area,” Sikich said.
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The NPS said it expects BB-12 will help provide insights into how wildlife uses the “urban, fragmented landscape” of the Santa Monica Mountains.
Black Bears have a lifespan of up to 30 years in the wild and males reach 250-400 pounds.