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Schwarzenegger’s bronze bear up for adoption?

The Sacramento SPCA has offered to adopt former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s grizzly bear.

Well, his bear statue, to be more specific.

When Schwarzenegger officially termed out on Monday, he left the 800-pound hunk of bronze in its familiar place in front of the front door of the main entrance to the governor’s Capitol office.

So far, new Gov. Jerry Brown, his attention focused on a $28 billion state budget shortage, has yet to announce what he plans to do with the bear.

“We can’t really comment on that right now,” said a Brown spokesman.

Schwarzenegger bought the bear, created by sculptor Steven Bennett, during a trip to Aspen, Colorado. He had it installed in front of his office in April, 2009.

With its smiling face and oversized head, it quickly became a favorite among the tourists who liked to take pictures in front of the “Governator’s” office. It also became a target of photographed stunts — from Democrats placing a campaign sign in its mouth to various visitors who jumped on its back to “ride” it.  

Removing the statute from the Capitol and transporting it to another site could prove costly, although Schwarzenegger’s former press secretary, Aaron McLear, declined to say how much the bear cost to purchase or ship the first time around.  

The Sacramento SPCA has proposed to install the bear in front of its Florin-Perkins Road animal shelter, both to generate publicity and help people find it.

“We understand that there is a bear in need of a home, and we’re an SPCA in need of a bear to draw drive-by visitors to our shelter,” said Rick Johnson, Sacramento SPCA executive director in a statement announcing the offer. “The Sacramento SPCA will care for more than 12,500 homeless animals in 2011, and a grizzly in need of a home is no exception.”

Though it will cost less to feed.

Ed’s Note: Corrects brass to bronze in hed.


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