California Black Bears live in the forest around the St. Francis Dam. At last count, there were 8 of them happily roaming around in the non-contiguous forest areas. They can be found from the Coastal Mountains all the way up to the Cascade Range in Oregon. Although they prefer elevations from 3-7,000 feet, a black bear was recently killed on the I-5 freeway near Castaic. A female and her cub were also seen sitting on a wall in Valencia, CA, elevation about 2,000 ft. Black Bears are generally nocturnal.
Males can weigh as much as 550 pounds, while the females can weigh up to 350 pounds. California Bears are generally black, but they can also be a reddish cinnamon color. The bears eat berries, grubs, grass, flowers, nuts, insects, carrion, fish, honey and anything they can scavenge from humans (i.e. peanut butter sandwiches, beer and ribs off of the BBQ). They also require a fresh source of water.
The California Bear population is stable, and they are not considered threatened or endangered, however, their population may decline due to threats from humans and habitat loss, such as the number of fires California has experienced over the last few years. Bears that have become accustomed to eating human foods may become a nuisance in populated areas. When this happens, they may be removed and then released farther from the populace. If they return, or they are not moved, it is likely that they will be euthanized.