MALIBU—On Thursday, July 20, a car traveling on the 101 Freeway reported a collision, with the lone victim being an American black bear, dubbed by the National Park Service (NPS) as, “BB-12.” Authorities confirmed this bear is the same one seen from the Leo Carrillo State Beaches in Malibu, both north and south of Freeway 118, and into the Santa Monica Mountains, where it was determined that he lived alone.
Scientists have indicated that the nearest black bear population is in the Santa Susana Mountains. There has not been any reported evidence of a breeding bear population in the area.
Multiple reports indicate that BB-12 was killed on his sixth time across the Freeway in the vicinity of Newbury Park and Camarillo. The last reported BB-12 citing was as he crossed the 23 Freeway in Moorpark, approximately 16 miles from where the new wilderness crossing is being built. Reports indicate that the $90 million Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing that began on April 22, 2022, has a completion date of 2025.
According to their website, on May 23, NPS captured 210 pound bear roaming just south of the 101 Freeway. Biologist did a complete examination on the bear and determined it to be a male of approximately 3-4 years of age. It was fitted with a GPS radio tracking collar, an ear tag, and set free.
The following statement came directly from the NPS webpage in May of 2023:
“He appears to be the only bear here in the Santa Monica Mountains, and he’s likely been here for almost two years based on our remote camera data,” said Jeff Sikich, the lead field biologist of the park’s two-decade mountain lion study. “This seems to be our first resident bear in the 20 years we have conducted mountain lion research in the area. It will be interesting to see how he shares the landscape with our other resident large carnivores.”