Police alert residents after bear sighting in Sonoma County

- A bear sighting in Sebastopol early Tuesday morning is prompting an alert from police. 

Officers said at about 3 a.m. they received a report of a large animal trying to enter a goat pen in the area of Gravenstein Highway North and Mill Station.

A short time later police received a second call reporting a large bear was seen heading toward the O'Reilly Associates building near Hurlbut Avenue in unincorporated Sonoma County, police said. 

Officers responded to that location but were not able to locate the animal. 

The sighting come in an area where there are a lot of fields and woodland in unincorporated Sebastopol north of that city. 

Police are alerting residents who have livestock including goat, sheep, and poultry to secure the animals' pens in the evenings. 

They're also urging residents to secure garbage cans to prevent attracting bears that are 
foraging for food.

Police officials said a bear roaming in the city is highly unusual, though a black bear was seen farther north in Healdsburg back in May.  
 
"We haven't had a bear sighting in this city, that am aware of," Sebastopol dispatcher Melanie Ferreria told KTVU.  

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife have been notified 
of the bear sighting, police said.
 

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