Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are warned a wild black bear is prowling near their £11million California mansion after being attracted to the area by their wealthy liberal neighbours’ chicken coops
- A wild black bear has been spotted near Harry and Meghan’s California home
- Officials say animal is attracted to Montecito by neighbours’ chicken coops
- Sussexes bought sprawling nine-bedroom mansion for £11million on June 18
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been warned a wild bear is prowling near their £11million California mansion.
Officials say the black bear has a den on Ranchos San Carlos near the Sussexes’ home, which was disturbed when it was recently sold.
The animal is believed to have been attracted to the area by Harry and Meghan’s wealthy neighbours’ chicken coops in Montecito, with security cameras having filmed the bear attacking the birds and raiding rubbish bins.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says the bear is looking for food and poses a significant risk to life.
The Duke and Duchess bought the sprawling nine-bedroom and 16-bathroom mansion in upscale Santa Barbara for £11million on June 18, making them neighbours with celebrities Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been warned a wild bear is prowling near their £11million California mansion
Officials say the black bear has a den on Ranchos San Carlos near the Sussexes’ mansion, which was disturbed when it was recently sold (file photo)
Soon after moving into the California home in early July, the large black bear was reported yards from Oprah’s estate.
The animal, which can weigh up to 39st, now appears to be back, with California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Tim Daly suggesting the bear is being attracted by the chicken coops.
‘It’s not like they can’t afford fresh eggs but for some reason the folks there think they need a chicken coop,’ he told The Sun.
‘We started getting a cluster of calls about a bear in Montecito in July and we’ve had some further calls about it this week. We’re hoping it will make its own way out of the area.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s California home sits on 5.4 acres of land and immaculately clipped hedges border the estate’s stone-pillared entry gates (pictured)
The animal is believed to have been attracted to the area by Harry and Meghan’s hipster neighbours’ chicken coops in Montecito, with security cameras having filmed the bear attacking chickens and raiding rubbish bins
‘Bears are attracted to strong odours so we’re advising residents to seal their trash and clean their barbecues.
‘Bears shouldn’t be confronted and they want to see an escape route, too. Don’t make eye contact with them and don’t run.’
The Montecito Association, a local authority, wrote to residents including Ellen DeGeneres explaining that ‘new activity’ on Ranchos San Carlos could be ‘disturbing the bear and setting it off into the community’.
It added: ‘This could be a bad outcome for that bear, unfortunately, and is dangerous for neighbours.’
The eye-watering costs of running the Sussexes’ £11million US home
The Sussexes took out a multi-million-pound mortgage to buy their spectacular home.
Sources say the couple are ‘proud’ to have bought the home without help from family.
Deeds show they took out a £7.25million mortgage to be paid back, plus interest, by 2050 – indicating they put down a deposit of around £3.8million.
Mortgage repayments will cost them some £30,000 a month and they will also have a yearly property tax of £220,000.
This is on top of the cost of maintenance, cleaning, staff and security and utilities which could run into tens of thousands of pounds a month.
The couple are also paying back the £2.4million spent on renovating Frogmore Cottage in £18,000-a-month instalments.
It is not clear how the duke and duchess will pay for all of this. When they quit royal duties they made a point of stressing that they wanted to become financially independent