A juvenile black bear is safe and back on familiar grounds today after paying an unexpected and startling visit May 31 to a Los Angeles-area elementary school.
The furry three-year-old also interrupted a graduation ceremony at adjacent Sierra Middle School when both schools were placed on emergency lock-down.
After spotting the bear, a teacher quickly herded frightened children who were outside playing back into their classrooms and called local officials.
Kern County Animal Control officers rushed to the scene and cornered the animal at a nearby apartment complex.
After the bear was tasered, it was loaded onto a truck, driven some distance away and released at Tejon Ranch, a protected area comprised of 270,000 acres in the southern San Joaquin Valley, Tehachapi Mountains, and Antelope Valley.
Tejon Ranch is the largest conservation and land-use pact in California.
Authorities say the black bear perhaps followed a route along the 165-mile-long Kern River into town. No one was injured and no lives were in any danger.
The black bear is a valued member of California's fauna with its population closely monitored, protected and managed.