Bronze Bear Statue May Leave Calif. Capitol

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Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger moved out of the governor's office in the California state Capitol building last week. However, he left behind his $20,000 bronze grizzly bear statue.

The new governor said he's fond of the costly piece of art, but isn't sure whether to leave it where it stands.

"I do like the symbol because it's on our flag and it projects the strength and determination and ferocity of what will be required in the months going forward," Gov. Jerry Brown said.

The waist-high bronze bear, positioned on all fours, was left behind Sunday by Schwarzenegger, who purchased it from an Aspen art gallery during a Colorado fundraising swing in 2009. He bought the bear with his own money.

The grizzly has been a favorite of school children and tourists who have taken endless photos outside Schwarzenegger's office.

The local chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has said it will happily take the bear, so it can stay in Sacramento -- if the governor decides not to keep it. The organization contacted Brown's office on Tuesday about the possibility of letting the bear migrate to the animal shelter.

"The community will still have a chance to visit it and more importantly, while it's here they would have a chance to see other animals they might be able to adopt and take home," Sacramento SPCA representative Rich Johnson said.

Others want the bear statue to stay right where it is. They hope Schwarzenegger will let it remain on loan to the public.

"I think they should keep it here because it's become a part of what the Capitol is ,and all of the people come because they want to take a picture. They want to see it," said one capitol visitor.

"For the little kids, it's scary. But for the bigger kids, it's really cool to us," another Capitol visitor, Sara Brink, said.

"I think it excites Californians," worker Rita Sudman said. "I think it's wonderful for children. I think the bear belongs here."

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