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Sierra Middle School Graduation Interrupted By Black Bear (WATCH)

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A young black bear wandered onto school property in Bakersfield, California, Thursday.
A young black bear wandered onto school property in Bakersfield, California, Thursday.

A young black bear threw a graduation ceremony at a California middle school into temporary chaos this week when it wandered onto school property.

According to Kern County Animal Control officers, the bear first startled students playing outside at Ramon Garza Elementary School in Bakersfield on Thursday, prompting faculty members to usher them to safety. The 150 pound, three-year-old bear then got the attention of students who were in the midst of a graduation ceremony at adjacent Sierra Middle School.

A spokesperson for the California Department of Fish and Game told The Huffington Post that bears, especially younger ones, are not tolerated by adult bears and often wander into populated areas. Easy access to garbage and can also be a motivating factor.

Regardless of the bears intent, authorities responding to the school did not take any chances and quickly cornered him at a nearby apartment complex. After using a catch pole and a stun gun to subdue the animal, they transported him to a remote area and released him back into the wild. The wily creature will likely remember the encounter for some time and in the future may find hanging with his peers is much more appealing than a stun gun barb to the back.

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