‘Keep Doors and Windows Closed': Black Bear Spotted in Vacaville

Solano County is a natural habitat for black bears, police say

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Vacaville police took to Facebook Monday to alert residents of a unique sighting.

Police said a male black bear was last seen in the North Orchard area of the city Monday morning.

"If you see the bear, the safest course of action will be to avoid him, keep doors and windows closed and consider bringing any pets inside," police said in the Facebook post.

Authorities say the bear has been in the neighborhood for a few days and was near Willis Jepson Middle School Monday morning. Their plan is to observe the bear and only take action if he poses a threat.

"Our hope is that he will safely wander back to his home soon," police said. "If you see the bear exhibiting aggressive behavior, please get to a safe location and call Vacaville PD immediately."

The bear was spotted right off the fence of the school, which worried neighbors and police who then called the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Neighbors in Vacaville spent the day closely watching a black bear wondering around houses and near a school. Residents hope the bear makes its way safely back into wilderness. Sharon Katsuda reports.

"They're the experts," said Sgt. Frank Piro said, "not something we deal with on a regular basis."

The bear ended up in Rob Stewart’s tree around 7 a.m. He said he was shocked when he heard police officers talking to one another in his backyard.

“I said, ‘what’s up? They pointed and I see a bear in the tree up there," Stewart said. "It was right there, I could have hit it with a rock."

NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai spoke to Rob Stewart, who spotted a 300-pound bear in his Vacaville backyard Monday morning.

It hung out there for a while, eventually making its way to the ground.

The bear has certainly been the talk of the neighborhood. "It's kind of cool," a student said. "Wilderness is coming back into town. I like it."

Other residents wondered why the community and bear had to co-mingle for so long. "I thought they would've relocated the bear," one woman said, "but they left the bear to wander around?"

Solano County is a natural habitat for black bears, police said. Vacaville police left the area around 9:30 p.m., hoping the bear made his way back into the hills. If they get calls late Monday or Tuesday morning, they may have to tranquilize him and move him back to the hills.

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