A large and hungry bear was caught on surveillance video rummaging through a La Cañada Flintridge family’s trash and eating their Halloween pumpkin on their porch.
The approximately 500-pound black bear targeted a home on the 1200 block of Flintridge Circle. The bear ripped off slats from the home’s fence, entered the Andersen family’s backyard and rummaged through the trash.
The bear then sauntered to the front of the home and waited for about 20 minutes before he picked up a pumpkin from the front porch and began eating it in a Winnie the Pooh-like fashion.
"The bear sat down and made itself at home and started carving the pumpkin basically, scratching it, opened it up and ate out the seeds," homeowner Carol Andersen said.
Andersen told NBC4 the family plans on adding a candle and using the "carved" pumpkin as their Halloween jack-o-lantern.
After the bear sighting, Andersen’s neighbors are considering storing their trash cans inside their garages.
California's black bear population is at about 25,000 to 30,000, with most living in mountain areas above 3,000 feet, according to what the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife calls conservative estimates. In 1982, the statewide bear population was estimated at between 10,000 and 15,000.
Less than 10 percent of the state's black bear population lives in the central western and southwestern California region, according to agency estimates. About half of the population resides in an area north and west of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Increased bear sightings -- and other wildlife -- might be partially attributed in recent years to the state's ongoing drought as animals are forced to search for food in areas outside their usual habitat, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. California has just finished its third-consecutive dry year with no end in sight to the dry spell.