The bears are back. In recent weeks, there have been several reported sightings of black bears in local neighborhoods. It's no surprise that a nearby creek, parkway and neighborhood is named Bear Creek!
The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife says that bears are looking for food, and their favorite finds are bird seed, pet food, and garbage, right out of our garbage cans. The best way to keep the bears away is to put all those things out of their reach. Save your bird feeders to put out when the bears hibernate, which is when the birds don't have all the other sources they're feasting on now; store pet food and garbage cans in your garage or a closed area; and don't put the cans on the street until the day of pickup. Doing just these few things will greatly reduce your chance of a bear encounter.
If you do find yourself in close contact with a bear, stay calm and avoid direct eye contact, advises the Department of Fish & Wildlife. Then stand tall, and talk and wave your hands above your head. Give the bear plenty of room, and hopefully it will run away. If it doesn't, try clapping your hands and yelling to scare it off. In an emergency call 911, and to report a non-emergency bear problem, contact the King County Department of Fish and Wildlife office at 425-775-1311. We can do our part to avoid having bear visitors.