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Bear romps from school, through yards and golf course, evades capture

October 29, 2013|By Ari Bloomekatz and Joseph Serna

A black bear spotted in a tree at a Granada Hills school Tuesday barreled from yard to yard, took a breather on the the front steps of a church, and scurried onto a golf course past onlookers as it evaded capture.

The bear's odyssey began about 7 a.m. after it was spotted at the North Valley Charter Academy campus on Rinaldi Street. The bear climbed a tree at the rear of the campus, where it remained as students were escorted inside the school. 

The chase began after a low-flying helicopter spooked the bear out of the tree.

After scurrying through the yards of several nearby homes, officials at one point had the bear cornered. Officials fired tranquilizer darts but they weren't successful.

When the bear took off a second time, it made its way to the Knollwood Golf Course, where a witness said it startled players on a green. At one point during the hide-and-seek chase, the bear was spotted resting on the front steps of a church.

The bear eventually disappeared into the wooded area around the golf course, evading even the ever-present television news helicopters.

The course is familiar territory for bears. About six months ago during a wildfire, the course was visited by another black bear that was eventually tranquilized and captured, golf starter Arnie Johnson said. 

This time, though, the bear got away, according to Richard French of the Los Angeles Police Department.

"They were not able to locate the bear," French told The Times at about 1 p.m. "He scurried away."

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Twitter: @aribloomekatz | Facebook

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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