The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been warned to enhance their security measures to keep the wild animals away. A report from the Mirror indicates that as many as four black bears have been sighted near the property.
An alert sent by a local residents’ group has been forwarded to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle warning them of the dangers.
Sharon Byrne, boss of the Montecito Association, said during an online meeting: “We’ve nicknamed the male bear Carlos and now he has a Carla to go with him.
“It’s spring, they’ve woken up and they’ve been seen in the past two weeks.
“One at the eastern edge of Montecito and one at the western edge in the space of a day.
“We’ve also had a sighting of the mama bear with cubs.”
The black bear alert also gave information on how to protect and secure the residents’ animals such as chickens, after a bear tried to attack a neighbouring coop last month.
One Montecito local, Penny Bianchi, said she managed to chase off the bear by “banging frying pans together.”
She added that since the attack, she has built a “predator proof” coop for her chickens.
Harry and Meghan have also been urged to buy bear-resistant bins and to freeze waste food so that the smell doesn’t attract the bears.
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Rebecca Barboza, a wildlife biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told ABC7 News that bear sightings may become more common in California as the bear population has increased.
She said: “The bear population is expanding its range, so bears are showing up in areas where they’ve never seen before.”
“In the urban areas, we have 24/7 access to food, water and shelter, and if you think about it in the wild, a bear might give birth to one or two cubs and those cubs may not survive until adulthood because their resources are limited.
“But in the urban area, their resources are basically unlimited, so the bears are able to give birth to multiple cubs and those cubs survive to adulthood.”
California has the largest population of black bears in the US with experts estimating the number to be as many as 35,000 across the state.
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Ms Barboza did point out that black bears are not inherently aggressive towards humans and that in the history of California there has never been a single recorded instance of human death caused by the species.
She added: “The mere presence of a bear in someone’s yard doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to get injured.
“They’re just interested in food. They’re not interested in interactions with humans.”