Bear Sightings Reported in Newcastle

As bears emerge from winter dens across the state, state wildlife managers are reminding residents how to avoid possible conflicts with hungry animals looking to scavenge an easy meal.

Reports of bear activity increase across the state during this time of year and Newcastle is no exception. Bear sightings have been reported in the community recently.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife responds to bear sightings when there is a threat to public safety or property. If it is an emergency, dial 911.

If you encounter a bear problem, and it is not an emergency, contact the nearest regional Department of Fish and Wildlife office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. In King County, the number to call is (425) 775-1311.

If you live in areas where black bears are seen, use the following management strategies around your property to prevent conflicts:

Don’t feed bears. Often people leave food out for bears so they can take pictures of them or show them to visiting friends. Over 90 percent of bear/human conflicts result from bears being conditioned to associate food with humans. A wild bear can become permanently food-conditioned after only one handout experience. The sad reality is that these bears will likely die, being killed by someone protecting their property, or by a wildlife manager having to remove a potentially dangerous bear.

Manage your garbage. Bears will expend a great amount of time and energy digging under, breaking down, or crawling over barriers to get food, including garbage. If you have a pickup service, put garbage out shortly before the truck arrives—not the night before. If you’re leaving several days before pickup, haul your garbage to a dump. If necessary, frequently haul your garbage to a dumpsite to avoid odors.

Keep garbage cans with tight-fitting lids in a shed, garage, or fenced area. Spray garbage cans and dumpsters regularly with disinfectants to reduce odors. Keep fish parts and meat waste in your freezer until they can be disposed of properly.

Learn more about living with bears at wdfw.wa.gov/living/bears.html or westernwildlife.org/bear-smart-king-county.

(Photo Credit: King County)

Published on 05/17/2017
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