KINGS BEACH (CBS13) — The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has captured a bear it says became a viral video sensation for its frequent stops inside a Kings Beach gas station store.
Surveillance videos inside that Chevron gas station store show the bizarre bear encounters. One recording shows a customer slapping the bear’s backside at the store entrance, then following it inside and scaring it back out again.
Another shows a bear lunging at employee Paul Heigh, who backs away.
“Not in the job description,” Heigh said. “No, not at all.”
In-store cameras also captured the bear lying down and eating candy in the aisles.
Cell phone video inside a nearby Kings Beach Safeway also captured a bear browsing the shelves.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife now reports all the videos showed the same bear. And they say they’ve caught it.
The agency posted their own video they say shows the bear’s release into an area they describe as ‘a large expanse of wild, suitable bear habitat.’
The decision to remove the bear from Kings Beach came after a health and wellness evaluation inside a Rancho Cordova Fish and Wildlife center. The agency says the bear is a 16-years-old male and had a broken bone in his hind leg that had not healed.
Anne Bryant with the BEAR League is concerned the bear’s removal from its familiar territory puts it at risk.
“I think this was not good for the bear,” Bryant said. “If he was taken to another bear’s habitat, that other bear is going to be territorial. This bear is compromised. It’s crippled. He’s crippled.”
This Kings Beach bear, known for its caught on surveillance snack attacks. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has sent it packing.