A female black bear made its way into the parking lot of a gated community along Miramar Beach on Monday. “The big joke was, ‘Who gave the bear the gate code?’” laughed Marsha Darin, whose family owns one of the seaside homes. Game wardens speculated that the bear followed a nearby creek to the beach and then climbed a staircase between two houses to the parking lot. “She was not at all aggressive,” Darin added. “She was hiding behind a palm tree.”
California Department of Fish & Wildlife officers estimated that the cinnamon-colored bear weighed about 100 pounds and was 10 years old, according to Andrew Hughan, a spokesperson for the agency. “She was in reasonably good health for her age — and there’s a couple more interesting things with this bear,” he said. She was pregnant. She was wearing a tag and GPS collar. And she was the bear whose paws, badly burned during the Thomas Fire, received skin grafts made from the skin of tilapia fish.
Hughan added that tranquilizing the bear and moving her “up into the forest to suitable habitat was a textbook operation.”