This is what happens with a drought, human encroachment, and limited hunting.
Sad all the way around.
And even sadder it was originally reported by UK news rather than US.
Hungry bears are invading a small Californian town in search of food ahead of winter hibernation as a four-year drought has forced them from the mountains.
Residents in Three Rivers have reported increased sightings of the beast, usually found in the nearby Sequoia National Park, as they try and find meal supplies.
Local Chas Haws recalled his surprise at coming face-to-face with a black bear one day before dawn as he walked to Antoinette’s Coffee and Goodies shop along the main road.
Mr Haws carefully stepped back as the bear reared up and then walked away. ‘He didn’t care about me at all,’ he said. ‘I didn’t smell like a muffin — yet.’
The tiny town is home to 2,200 citizens including park employees, cattle ranchers, hippies, yuppies, artists, as well as a retreat for Los Angeles types that include Anjelica Huston and William Shatner.
Most town folk seem delighted by the visiting black bears — many brown and cinnamon in colour — lumbering through grasslands, trotting across roads or wading through rivers.
The drought shriveled the berry crop in the Sierra Nevada and oaks on parched hillsides produced fewer acorns, forcing the bears into the valleys carved by the branches of the Kaweah River that gives the town its name. Water is plentiful and acorns carpet the ground.
Gregory Lockhart hadn’t seen a bear in 27 years until this season. Now they’re fixtures on the golf course located behind his back door and have been witnessed by the pool of a guest house.
‘The park is upon us now,’ he said.