Wandering bear on Rincon beach had a brain tumor

Rare sighting last month now explained

A wandering bear last month on the Rincon beach had a serious medical problem (Michael Haber photo)

RINCON BEACH, Calif. - The wandering bear on Rincon beach last month had a serious medical condition that has now been revealed.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says the 320 pound bear was in bad shape when they caught it.  It was eventually euthanized.

Now, after a necropsy by a DFW vet, it was learned the bear had a brain tumor.

When the bear came out of a creek at the Ventura- Santa Barbara County line people on the beach quickly grabbed their phones and took pictures.  It went out to social media and soon became a one-of-a-kind moment.

One property owner up the canyon believes she saw the bear a day earlier in her avocado groves.

The full Fish and Wildlife information on the bear can be found here:


Necropsy on Euthanized Southern California Bear Revealed Presence of Tumor
A disoriented black bear (Ursus americanus) that was euthanized after wandering onto Rincon Beach near Carpinteria in August was suffering from a massive brain tumor, a necropsy has shown.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) veterinarians necropsied the bear at the Wildlife Investigations Lab (WIL) in Sacramento this week and found a tumor that extended through to multiple sinuses (nasal, frontal and maxillary) and obliterated portions of its facial bones.
"This tumor could account for the abnormal behavior, caused the bloody nasal discharge and would have ultimately ended in this animal's life," said Dr. Brandon Munk, a CDFW wildlife veterinarian.
On Saturday, Aug. 19, CDFW wildlife officers responded to initial reports of a lethargic, confused bear on the beach. They monitored the bear for several days but it made no effort to return to the wild on its own. After the bear was tranquilized and examined, veterinarians determined it to be in very poor health and humanely euthanized it.
The male bear was about 320 pounds and estimated to be about 15 years old.
California's black bear population has increased over the past 25 years. In 1982, the statewide bear population was estimated to be between 10,000 and 15,000. Presently, the statewide black bear population is conservatively estimated to be between 25,000 and 30,000.
Bears are present in most areas of California and residents are reminded to keep their distance, especially around females with cubs. There has never been a recorded human fatality from a black bear in the state but attacks on people happen occasionally. The best information for living with bears in urban areas and tips for back county safety can be found at


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