"I Swear I Saw a Bear"

Neighborhood on edge

By Jessica Greene
|  Thursday, Apr 30, 2009  |  Updated 8:07 AM PDT
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Animals in the News

AP

Even after a long search, authorities found no bears in Petaluma. This mother and cub are pictured in their Alaskan home.

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When they got the call from a man saying he saw a 200-pound black bear in his North Bay neighborhood, police were skeptical. Mountain lion sightings in the Bay Area are common but bears? Not so much.

But the calls kept coming.

After the first man told the police, "I swear I saw a bear, " a second call came in about a bear on Burlington Drive. Then two more calls -- both reporting a black bear near the Sonoma Mountain Parkway.

The callers claimed to have seen a black bear in the creek in the area of East Washington Street and Maria Drive, according to police.

But even after a long search that included a CHP helicopter, Petaluma police found no bear. Authorities think the animal found it's way back to open space.

It goes without saying, but police said it anyway: if you see the massive animal, don't approch it. Call the cops instead.

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