Local Black Bear Sightings


Most of us recognize that there are black bears in the woods surrounding our community.  However, seeing one in the middle of the day is unusual.  In the past week there have been several sightings and further evidence that one, or more black bears are prowling around Cape Meares.

The picture that appears above was taken around noon about a week ago in a back yard along Fifth Street.  Another (or the same) black bear was sighted on Seventh Street a few days later.  Local residents have also spotted bear skat in several locations around Cape Meares.

The black bear appears to be older than a cub and probably equivalent to a teen-ager, and perhaps looking for trouble.  The bear may not be particularly dangerous from the standpoint of attacking a human, but it would be wise to take certain precautions such as securely fastening the tops of garbage cans.

If you have not had experience with bears the advice found below may be worth reading.  The source of this information is from a site about national parks.  <http://usparks.about.com/od/backcountry/a/Bear-Safety.htm>

Backcountry and Trail Precautions

  • Don’t surprise bears. If you’re hiking, make your presence known. Make noise by talking loudly, singing, or wearing a bell.
  • If you can, travel with a group. Groups are noisier and easier for bears to detect.
  • Keep in mind that bears tend to be more active at dawn and dusk so plan your hikes accordingly.
  • Stay on marked trails and obey the regulations of the area you’re hiking/camping in.
  • If you’re hiking in bear country, keep an eye out for tracks, scat, digs, and trees that bears have rubbed.
  • Leave your dog at home!

If You Encounter a Bear…

  • Remain calm and avoid sudden movements.
  • Give the bear plenty of room, allowing it to continue its activities undisturbed. If it changes its behavior, you’re too close so back away.
  • If you see a bear but the bear doesn’t see you, detour quickly and quietly.
  • If a bear spots you, try to get its attention while it is still farther away. You want it to know you’re human so talk in a normal voice and waive your arms.
  • Remember that a standing bear is not always a sign of aggression. Many times, bears will stand to get a better view.
  • Throw something onto the ground (like your camera) if the bear pursues you, as it may be distracted by this and allow you to escape.
  • Never feed or throw food to a bear.