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Dead Bear Remains on Street Median 10 Hours After Accident

Published on Thursday, June 24, 2021 | 3:38 pm
The dead bear remained at the accident scene overnight, covered by tarps. (Photo courtesy City of Pasadena)

City officials were unsure why a dead bear was not removed from a center median for nearly 10 hours after a car struck the animal near the vicinity of New York Drive at Eaton Canyon Drive.

The bear was hit and killed by a vehicle near the intersection of New York Drive and Eaton Canyon Drive about 8:35 p.m. Wednesday. The bear died at the scene. The driver was not hurt.

As of 6:30 a.m. Thursday the bear’s body remained in the center divider, covered by a tarp, awaiting removal by Pasadena Humane.

The bear was later removed.

“We did respond immediately to the call last night,” said Jack Hagerman, vice president, community engagement. “But with only one officer on duty after hours, it was impossible to remove a 500 lb. bear without more assistance and a larger truck. So we had to wait until morning when we had more support to remove it.”

The bear was in the roadway Wednesday night when the accident occurred.

According to Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian, the city is looking into the situation.

“Pasadena Fire Department is working 24/7 365 days a year,” Derderian said. “We are looking into what agency could have assisted with the removal.”

The City Council approved a five-year contract with the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA to continue providing animal services.

The new contract comes on the heels of a year of internal analysis, including discussions with other San Gabriel Valley cities, after Pasadena and other neighboring cities were confronted in 2019 with a “significant contract increase” in charges by Pasadena Humane.

The new contract cost was 57% above the previous agreement’s, rising from $1.25 million to $1.96 million.

Officials in Arcadia, Bradbury, La Cañada Flintridge, San Marino, Sierra Madre and South Pasadena explored other options rather than renewing with the Humane Society at the increased contract rate, including forming a new Joint Powers Authority (JPA) for animal services, contracting with the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC), contracting with the City of Los Angeles for Animal Control, developing a city program to deliver animal services, but all of those options would bring increased costs, which led to the new contract.

Several local residents have claimed the department no longer picks up dead animals and have told them to transport caracas themselves.

“I’m not sure where that rumor surfaced, but it’s untrue. We still do dead animal pick up,” Hagerman said. “That said, when it comes to private property, we are not legally allowed to remove a dead animal from a private property without the consent of the property owner. For example, we had an instance recently that was talked about on Nextdoor where a resident posted that we refused to remove a dead cat. The cat was in a gated empty lot next to the resident’s house – and she was upset that we told her we couldn’t go there unless the lot owner granted us permission.”

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