BearTrap Canyon, in the foothills of Angeles National Forest, was the site of the 1889 capture of the last known grizzly bear in California. The bear, Monarch, was captured by trapper-traders who lured the bear into a small log hut with a trap-door that closed when the grizzly entered.
It is unknown how the trappers transported Monarch to Ventura County, where custody of the bear was transferred to an employee of newspaperman, William Randolph Hearst. Monarch was then brought by rail to San Francisco, and was offered to the Menagerie (zoo) at Golden Gate Park, where he lived for 22 years.
Several years after Monarch's capture in the canyon that was subsequently named for him, a portion of the canyon was acquired by a Los Angeles man; his descendents still own the land today. Ranching by early settlers gave way to grape-growing and the creation of BearTrap Canyon Vineyards.
The grizzly bear became one of California's most well-known and long-lasting symbols. It is Monarch's image that adorns the California State Flag.
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