Bear Behavior on Rincon Beach Explained

The black bear seen wandering on Rincon Beach last month was apparently suffering from a brain tumor, which could account for his abnormal behavior.

The 320-pound bear was examined by veterinarians after being taken off the beach, before he was eventually euthanized. The necropsy revealed a massive brain tumor that had extended to multiple sinuses, obliterating portions of the bear’s facial bones.

Below is the full report from the Department of Fish and Wild:


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

Written by jhass

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