The recent sighting of a mama bear and her three cubs near Lane Community College’s main campus has officials urging caution. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, there is conflicting advice on how to handle a bear encounter.
Coming across a bear in a residential area – let alone the forest -- can be a startling event. Often the animal is just hungry, and can be dispelled with a loud, calm, and firm voice.
But myths persist, such as how running downhill or climbing up a tree will elude a bear. And what works for one type of bear may not for another.
“Stop. Don’t continue to approach it. You want to give any bear you encounter a way to escape, so step off the trail…slowly walk away. Just give the bear space to leave," advises Dennehy.
"If it’s a mama bear with bear cubs, the bears will tend to be more aggressive, so if you see bear cubs you do want to leave that area, because it likely means that mother bear is around.”
There are an estimated 30,000 black bears living in Oregon. If any start appearing in neighborhoods, it could be because they’re attracted to garbage, uncleaned grills, or bird feeders. Wildlife officials say cleaning or removing these items can stop tempting bears into areas where people live.
Copyright 2017, KLCC.