DAVIS (CBS13) – A young bear wandered onto the UC Davis campus Tuesday morning, prompting a campus-wide alert.
School officials say the bear was first spotted near Solano Park and the Arboretum a little before 6 a.m. A WarnMe alert was soon sent out, telling UC Davis staff and students to avoid the area.
The bear then made its way to a grassy area near the Hyatt Place hotel off Old Davis Road.
Fish and wildlife crews responded and surrounded the bear.
A perimeter was set up to keep the noise level down so that the bear could relax a bit. It was then tranquilized.
Officials believe the bear was probably the same one spotted in Vacaville over the weekend.
“It dispersed maybe from the hills in Vacaville, looking for the closest available habitat,” said Josh Bush from Fish and Wildlife. “It went to Dixon and didn’t find anything but maybe farmland, and [then] it came here, saw some trees and got scared up one.”
Wildlife officials say it appears the bear is a young male that was probably kicked out of the den by a mother who just had cubs. It then went wandering looking for its own habitat.
Experts from UC Davis say it is extremely rare for a bear to wander onto campus. Brian Todd, a professor of conservation biology, tweeted that the bear probably followed Putah Creek (a part of which runs directly south of UC Davis) down from the Coast Range near Lake Berryessa.
UC Davis is still in session this week, with final exams starting on Friday.
The bear, which is about 80-100 pounds, was checked out by veterinarians. Early Tuesday afternoon, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife posted video of the bear being released back into the wild.