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Caught on Camera: Bear Stealing Oreos in California

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By Erika John - - 5 Mins Read
A brown bear
Featured Photo | Becca/Unsplash

Residents of the Monrovia neighborhood in Los Angeles have developed a somewhat fond attachment to a particular brown bear, affectionately dubbing it "Oreo" due to its penchant for stealing cookies and cakes from homes and cars.

However, some residents are growing increasingly concerned about the bear's audacity and apparent lack of fear towards humans.

The bear was caught in the act of breaking into a resident's home over the weekend and swiftly exited through a window with a bag of Oreo cookies clenched firmly in its jaws.

Just a week prior, the same household experienced a similar intrusion when a bear rummaged through a car parked in the driveway—though it remains uncertain whether it was the same culprit—making off with a package of Oreos from a grocery bag.

Also read: Bear Goes Rogue in Connecticut Bakery, Munches Tens of Cupcakes in a Sitting


In the Canyon Crest Drive cul-de-sac, Vina Khoury recounted an unsettling encounter last summer: a bear broke into her garage and made off with a chocolate cake.

She firmly believes it's the same bear responsible for the recent string of break-ins, a behavior not commonly associated with grizzly bears in California.

"That's why we've given him the name Oreo," Khoury explained to KTLA 5 News.

"He's not merely roaming about; he's actively entering homes. Now, it's quite nerve-wracking to leave any window or backyard door unlocked."

"We're accustomed to their presence," Khoury continued. "We've never encountered any aggressive behavior or bear attacks here, but it's always a concern, especially when they're too close or when a mother bear is with her cubs. You don't want to provoke them because you never know when they might charge."

Richard Mosteller, a resident, disclosed that the neighborhood has become accustomed to the weekly visits of these furry visitors, who amble through the area every Monday with a relaxed demeanor.

Mosteller emphasized that these bears, while engaging in typical bear behavior such as rummaging through trash cans and scavenging for food, have not exhibited any signs of aggression thus far.

However, recent developments have prompted a shift in the residents' sentiment towards their ursine neighbor.

Despite the absence of aggressive interactions, there are worries about the growing confidence exhibited by Oreo and its fellow bears, a behavior that is not typical for grizzly bears in California.


Also read: Man or Bear: Viral TikTok Debate Gets Women Choosing Wild Animal


While the residents have refrained from formally reporting the situation to wildlife officials, the possibility of escalating encounters has prompted discussions about the necessity of involving wildlife experts to assess the situation and potentially relocate Oreo and its cohorts.

The bond between the residents and Oreo is undeniable, and the bear's recurring visits have become a part of the neighborhood's fabric.

However, the recent incidents have highlighted the need for caution and proactive measures to ensure the safety of both residents and wildlife.

As the neighborhood grapples with the dilemma of balancing their affection for Oreo with the need for safety, the possibility of involving wildlife experts looms on the horizon.

While relocation may seem drastic, it is considered a necessary step to mitigate potential conflicts and ensure the well-being of humans and bears alike.

Until then, the residents of Monrovia remain vigilant, watching their unexpected visitors while hoping for a peaceful resolution to the situation.