A bear near the 210 freeway in Pasadena

A black bear that went on a romp through northwest Pasadena on Thursday, coming perilously close to the 210 Freeway, evaded capture, apparently wandering back up the mountainside.

The bear -- estimated to be 3 years old and weighing 275 pounds -- was first reported about 3:30 p.m. near Cleveland Elementary School at 524 Palisades St., California Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan said.

At one point, the animal was about 20 yards from the eastbound lanes of the 210, according to a California Highway Patrol online incident log. Television footage showed the bear approaching the guardrail, then backing away from the traffic and returning to more open space, the Los Angeles Times reported.

CHP cars soon arrived in the area.

Los Angeles County authorities initially sent out an alert that the bear had been tranquilized with a dart, but that turned out to not be the case. The bear apparently was able to evade a warden and Pasadena police as they combed the back areas.

The bear was last seen near a home's backyard before disappearing somewhere along the Arroyo Seco, which provides wildlife with a fairly narrow path back into the San Gabriel Mountains.

At 6:53 p.m., the California Department of Fish and Wildlife tweeted: "Bear is safe in heavy brush and has a safe route thru Arroyo to the @Angeles_NF Wardens backing off for the night."

-- Kate Mather, Los Angeles Times 

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