Fight brews over ‘Meatball’ the bear’s name

Fight brews over ‘Meatball’ the bear’s name

SAN DIEGO – The San Diego County animal sanctuary that took in “Meatball” the Glendale bear now wants the woman who turned him into a social media darling to sign away all legal claims to the bear’s name.

Meatball, who got his nickname after he was caught eating frozen Costco meatballs from a garage refrigerator in 2012, had been slated to be euthanized after repeatedly returning to Glendale despite being relocated deep within Angeles National Forest.

But then Sarah Aujero stepped in, branding Meatball on Twitter with @TheGlendaleBear and campaigning to relocate him to a permanent animal sanctuary.

The tactic worked. Amid a surge of public interest, wildlife officials trapped the bear a third time.

The effort to find Meatball a permanent home quickly grew into a full-fledged fundraising campaign, complete with branded shirts, tote bags and stickers to help pay for a new enclosure at Lions, Tigers & Bears…

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