Glendale's "Meatball" the Bear to Be Rose Parade Star

A design for Glendale's Rose Parade float may feature a bear who became a wildlife celebrity

By Melissa Pamer
|  Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013  |  Updated 11:14 PM PDT
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Glendale Bear Returns After Multiple Attempts to Send Him Home

Lions, Tigers and Bears

"Meatball," a trash-loving bear who refused to stay out of San Gabriel Mountain foothill communities, could be featured in a Rose Parade float representing Glendale.

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Searching for a Home for Meatball

The black bear dubbed Meatball was captured Wednesday, following a dip in the pool of a La Canada Flintridge home. Now animal lovers are trying to find a permanent home for the bear. Kim Baldonado reports for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on August 30, 2012

Glendale Bear Returns After Multiple Attempts to Send Him Home

The 400-pound Glendale black bear, also known as "Meatball" was tranquilized and sent back to the hills for the second time this past weekend. But the wandering bear returned and was found roaming around Glendale again. Ted Chen reports from La Cresenta for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on July 16, 2012.
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Glendale’s most famous resident – at least, its most well-known erstwhile ursine citizen – will be the highlight of the city’s entry into the Tournament of Roses Parade come New Year's Day.

Meatball, the beloved bear who marauded through foothill neighborhoods last year, is going to be featured on the Glendale Rose Parade float, the Glendale City Council unanimously voted Tuesday night.

The float design is dubbed "Let’s Be Neighbors," which will showcase Meatball popping out of a garbage can, as seen in the rendering below.

Meatball was twice tranquilized and taken deep into the Angeles National Forest after being found eating from area homes – once nabbing his namesake treat from a refrigerator in a garage.

On his third foray into populated areas -- in La Canada Flintridge -- the bear was lured with a trail of french fries, tranquilized and taken to Lions Tigers & Bears, an animal sanctuary in San Diego County. He lives there today.

Meanwhile, Meatball had spawned a Twitter account and a following that seemed to appreciate encounters between wildlife and humans in foothill areas.

On Tuesday, the Twitter account named GlenBearian/Meatball tweeted," Told ya I'd be back ..."

The design for the $155,000 float will mark Glendale’s 100th entry in the Rose Parade, which itself will mark its 125th anniversary on Jan. 1, 2014.

The float will feature other “noted native inhabitants," according to a city staff report, including a coyote, mule deer, red-tailed hawk, raccoon, skunk and more.

The city abuts the Verdugo Mountains and the San Gabriel Mountains, where such wildlife reside.

The theme of the 2014 Rose Prade, held in Glendale’s neighboring city of Pasadena, is “Dreams Come True.”

“The float dreams of the day when all the area’s residents – people and wildlife alike – can call get along together,” said the Glendale staff report.

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