BEND, OR -- A black bear was spotted by multiple people in northeast Bend, Tuesday evening. According to Bend Police, between around 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., Bend Police received reports of a black bear, possibly a cub, in the area of NE 18th Street and Cooley Road. Several community members also flagged down officers to report sightings. Bend Police and the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife responded and found tracks, but did not locate the bear.
With school back in session and many people walking and traveling through the area, Bend PD asks the public to be aware. If you see a black bear in the area, please call non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911.
Do not approach the bear. Bend Police work closely with the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, who specialize in handling this type of wildlife.
UPDATE 1 P.M.: Police were called to the City of Bend's Utility Department compound on Boyd Acres just after 11:30 Wednesday morning, where a black bear cub was seen. Officers located the cub in the compound and contacted the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. ODFW responded to the location and used a tranquilizer dart to safely take the bear into custody.
Wednesday night, ODFW released the following statement:
A young black bear that ended up in town in Bend will be released back into suitable habitat on the Deschutes National Forest.
The male bear is approximately 7-8 months old, a “cub of the year” that would have been born in late winter (January or February).
While young bears are typically still with their mothers at this age, they are also capable of surviving on their own in the wild. It is unclear why the bear was separated from its mother prematurely. ODFW has received no reports of a dead sow in the area.
“We have no reports of damage associated with this bear, so it’s likely the young bear just got confused and wandered into town,” said Andrew Walch, ODFW Deschutes district wildlife biologist.
ODFW had tranquilized the bear earlier today after being alerted by the Bend Police Department. The bear had wandered into the 62000 block of Boyd Acres Road and was also seen yesterday around NE 18th?Street and Cooley Road.
“We are glad we were able to get this young bear back to the wild and thank the Bend Police Department for their assistance and the public for alerting us to the bear,” continued Walch. “The young bear is in good physical condition which should increase its survival chances.”
Bears are feeding on a variety of plants, nuts, seeds, and berries at this time of year. The bear was released into what biologists considered good bear habitat which should also improve the chances for a successful outcome for this animal.