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Bear family in Roseville, Loomis and Granite Bay marked for death

Depredation permit issued after chickens killed in Granite Bay
By: Jon Brines Gold Country News Service
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A family of hungry bears seen Saturday running through suburban neighborhoods in Roseville and Granite Bay are slated to be trapped and killed. “Those bears are going to be trapped and killed,” said Andrew Hughan, Department of Fish and Game spokesperson. “A fed bear is a dead bear.” “Our main mission at the Department is to keep animals alive, but sometimes safety is number one,” Hughan said. Hughan said the fate of the mother and her triplet cubs was sealed Oct. 7 when they raided a Granite Bay chicken coop, killing 20 birds. That family who Fish and Game declined to identify asked for the depredation (kill) permit. Peter Balfour, a Loomis homeowner who also lost three chickens when the bears went through his yard, said he watched as his family’s named pets got picked apart and eaten by the bears. “They got all but one chicken,” Balfour said. “I gave the last chicken to a friend because I knew they would be back. And they were, 10 days later.” Hughan said the bears are eating as much as possible, preparing to hibernate through the winter. “Because there has been a continual feeding by these bears on people’s trash, on people’s chickens and wildlife, then the department has no other choice than to issue this depredation (kill) permit,” Hughan said. Rocklin resident Kristin Janda said she was driving to work Saturday morning when she spotted the four bears in a neighborhood off Scarborough Drive and Claudio Way, in Roseville. By 9 a.m., the four bears made it several miles east into Granite Bay where a couple saw them outside their backyard fence near Miner’s Ravine. Resident Holger Fuerst said he grabbed his camera. “The cubs were trying to get away. They climbed a big pine tree and the mother was just hanging out at the bottom of the tree,” Fuerst said. Hughan said, “The worst thing that a person or dog can do is get between a mother and cubs. That bear will run you down,” Hughan said. He said residents should not approach bears, but should get inside and call Placer County Sheriff’s Department. If the bear is acting aggressively call 911. “We’d tell people not to approach the bear or its cubs, but not to run away either — make yourself look as big as possible and make a lot of noise –— clap your hands, yell, bang pots, etc.,” said Dee Dee Gunther, Roseville Police spokeswoman. Hughan said it’s unusual for bears to make it so far into the suburbs. He said there are an estimated 35,000 black bears living in California. For Julie Balfour, protecting her two teenage children in their Loomis home is the number one concern, especially since the bears came back twice. “You think it would be nice if they could relocate them, but when they came back the fear was that she is training the baby cubs that this is where to come for food,” Julie Balfour said. Hughan said Fish and Game bear studies have concluded relocation is fruitless. “You can take a bear 100 miles away and they will come right back to the same trash can,” Hughan said. Hughan said the bears were last spotted in the Folsom Lake area. ----------