Some parts of California are ideal for bears -- the Tahoe region, heavily forested parts of the Central Valley and on up through the northern area to Oregon. But in the Bay Area? Not so much. Unless you're talking about a particuar school's mascot.
But that rule of nature was broken in the East Bay this week.
Blanca Gutierrez was closing up the burrito shop where she works on Foothill Boulevard in San Leandro on Sunday night when she saw what she thought was a stuffed bear lying in front of the eatery. As she got closer she realized it was very real. All 300 pounds of it.
It seems someone shot the California black bear and dumped it in front of the strip mall. Experts from the Department of Fish and Game determined the bear was a male, between three to five years old, and had been shot in the shoulder area.
A witness told Fish and Game Officer Sheree Christensen that a witness saw two people in a large white Dodge pickup truck drag the bear out of the bed of the truck and dump onto the sidewalk.
Fish and Game officials don't have much to go on but speculate that since we are in bear-hunting season, a hunter without a license might have shot the bear and dumped it on Foothill Boulevard for some reason.
Police say if the people who dumped the bear are caught, they could face serious charges. Anyone with information may contact the sheriff's office at 510-667-3636 or Lt. Sheree Christensen with the state Department of Fish and Game at 925-556-0363.