Bear Found on Campus in 2019 Hasn’t Been Seen Since Release

Wildlife officers put ear tag on bear.
Josh Bush ’07, a wildlife biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, fits a bear that came to campus in 2019 with an ear tag. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)

The bear that made its way to the main campus May 26 wasn’t the first of its kind in recent memory to come calling. And while last month’s incident ended tragically, a previous incident had a positive outcome.

In 2019, a young black bear was spotted in Parking Lot 5 between the arboretum’s Redwood Grove and Old Davis Road. The bear later climbed a tree on Solano Field, near the Environmental Horticulture building, and was captured by California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials, including an alumnus.

Fish and Wildlife attached a tracking collar to the bear and released it in Colusa County. The collar fell off a couple months later and was eventually recovered by Fish and Wildlife, according to information officer Ken Paglia.

And even though the bear hasn’t been spotted since 2019, Paglia said it’s very unlikely last month’s campus visitor was the same animal.

“There’s no evidence that it was the same bear,” he said. “The only identifier on the 2019 bear was ear tags, and the most recent bear didn’t appear to ever have had ear tags.”

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Cody Kitaura is a News and Media Relations Specialist in the Office of Strategic Communications, and can be reached by email or at 530-752-1932.

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