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Great Bear Siege is lifted

September 17, 2010

The Great Bear Siege is over in the Lakes Basin.

Having heard scads of complaints from cabin owners in the Falls Tract, Mammoth Lakes police shot and killed the infamous marauding Lakes Basin bear on Tuesday afternoon, ending a saga that left residents angry and confused.

The bear was responsible for at least 19 cabin break-ins in the area, the MLPD said in a news release. The tract is near Lake Mary.

The bear, a “light colored, three-year-old female,” was busted while she was actively breaking into a cabin, police said.

With wildlife specialist Steve Searles on hand, police killed the bear after one of the residents produced a “depredation permit” from the California Department of Fish and Game.

The permit authorized the action and officials from the DFG and the U.S. Forest Service approved the MLPD to act as the depredation permittee’s agent.

When police arrived on the scene at about noon and positively identified the bear as the same one named on the permit, the animal was put down.

The animal’s carcass was turned over to Fish and Game for study and disposal.

Two weeks ago, cabin owners showed up en masse to a town Wildlife Committee meeting, registering complaints that they weren’t sure whom to contact regarding the bear, or what procedures to use in case there was trouble.

They do now.

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