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SBSD - Barstow Sheriff's Department
Friday October 31st, 2014 :: 11:41 a.m. PDT


A female bear and her cub safely removed from the New Era Energy Solar Plant in Kramer Junction.

DATE/TIME: October 30, 2014 at approximatley 4:00 p.m.

INCIDENT: Animal Problem

LOCATION: 41100 US 395 Highway, Kramer Junction

On October 30, 2014, at approximately 4:00 p.m., deputies from the Barstow Sheriff’s Station responded to the New Era Energy Solar Plant off of US 395 Highway and State Route 58 in Kramer Junction. Security from the solar plant stated two California bears had walked onto the property; a female adult and her cub. Security was concerned since it was unusual to see a bear this far south in the desert and was so near the populated area of Kramer Junction.

When deputies arrived, the bears appeared to be lounging just outside the solar plant fence line. Deputies asked the Sheriff’s Dispatch to contact California Fish and Game authorities to come and assess the situation. Deputies maintained observation of the bears and made plans to keep the bears from continuing south into Kramer Junction. There was concern over the bears trying to cross the heavily travelled highways, which could cause a major traffic collision, or entering the food and rest stops and causing mass panic or injury to the public.

While waiting for Fish and Game officers, the bears dug under the fence line to a portion of the solar plant and entered a field of solar arrays. Security evacuated that portion of the plant, for safety of the employees and the bears and assisted deputies with monitoring the bear’s activity. The bears continued in a southerly direction through the plant, but were stopped at a fortified fence line.

Once Fish and Game officers arrived on scene, a plan was made to safely tranquilize the bears and move them. Deputies assisted Fish and Game, providing less than lethal coverage while the Fish and Game officer approached the adult bear to fire a tranquilizing dart. The dart was successful; however, the adult bear ran off, separating herself from her cub and placing deputies between her and the cub. Several minutes later, the tranquilizer took effect and the bear fell asleep. The cub was also tranquilized and safely removed from the plant moments later. Fish and Game officers tagged both bears and removed them to an unpopulated area.

While bear sightings are unusual in the Barstow area, they may become more frequent as the severe drought continues in California, forcing wild animals into populated areas looking for food and water. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department would like to remind the public to never approach a wild animal, but to seek safety and report the animal’s location and activity to the local law enforcement agency or 9-1-1.

Refer: Sergeant Matthew Griffith
Station: Barstow Station
Phone No. (760) 256-4838
Case No. #BA143030030

JOHN McMAHON, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department

SBSD - Barstow Sheriff's Department
225 E Mountain View St
Barstow, CA 92311

Emergency: 9-1-1

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