Local News

Bear Encounters Increasing In Oregon

BEND, OR -- After two dangerous bear encounters in Oregon this week, ODFW is asking everyone to be careful. "It’s definitely been a bad year for bear damage," says Michelle Dennehy, with Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife. She believes the late berry season is partly to blame. 

In Bend, a cub was spotted in a neighborhood Tuesday. It was tranquilized inside the city’s utility department compound the Wednesdaay morning, "We think it just kind of got confused and wandered into town, and we do see that occasionally. There are instances where we can relocate those bears, like we did in this case."

But that wasn’t the case in Medford. On Monday, a bear attacked a woman and her dog inside her West Medford yard. Both survived. The bear was later shot and killed by police when it started to climb down from a neighborhood tree. Dennehy says ODFW makes decisions on how to handle a bear based on its past actions, "This young bear in Bend, no history of it causing damage, causing human safety issues. Unlike the one in Medford that actually swiped a woman, attacked a woman. So, that’s the big difference between these situations."

Dennehy says these incidents can be prevented, "You might’ve heard the saying, ‘a fed bear is a dead bear.’ Don’t feed the bear because once they get used to it, they’re going to keep coming back; they’re going to get more and more aggressive."

She suggests making your property uninviting by using bear-proof garbage cans and removing food sources from your property, including bird feeders. If you encounter a bear, don’t run, avoid eye contact, raise your arms to appear large and make a lot of noise.


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John Kruse
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