Ashland Residents Warned to Be Bear Aware | News Radio 1190 KEX

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The ODFW and the Ashland Police Department have an annual message for residents and visitors to Ashland: “Be Bear Aware”.

Although the weather has been cooler lately, bears are becoming more active and have started to leave wooded areas to search for food.

The town of Ashland typically experiences a high level of bear conflict each year, usually peaking in the spring when hungry bears search neighborhoods around town for an easy meal. So far this year, ODFW has received four nuisance bear complaints.

In 2021, ODFW recorded 62 complaints (compared to 103 in 2020) about bears inside the city limits, including aggressive actions, harmful behaviors and loss of distrust. Most of these incidents resulted from access to garbage, birdseed, compost, and other types of food rewards.

ODFW wildlife biologists urge people to “be bear aware” and do their part to avoid creating dangerous situations for humans and bears. Black bears are wild animals that can behave unpredictably and can quickly become a human safety issue if habituated to human food.

The best way to keep bears and humans safe is to prevent bears from getting food rewards. To keep wild bears wild, we ask Ashland residents to:

  • Never feed bears.
  • Take out the trash just before pick-up.
  • Recology Ashland offers bear resistant cans, call 541-482-1471.
  • Keep pet food inside.
  • Remove bird feeders.
  • Keep barbecue grills clean or in the garage.
  • Clean fruit under fruit trees.

If you encounter a bear:

  • STOP: Never approach a bear for any reason. If you see cubs, leave the area.
  • Give it space: Give any bear you encounter a way to escape.
  • STAY CALM: Do not run or make sudden movements. Face the bear and back away slowly.
  • AVOID EYE CONTACT: Do not make eye contact with the bear.
  • DON’T RUN: This may encourage the bear to chase you.
  • FIGHT: In the unlikely event that you are attacked, fight back, shout, be aggressive, use rocks, sticks and hands.

Report non-emergency bear activity to Ashland through the city’s bear reporting website or by calling ODFW directly at 541-826-8774.

Dial 911 if there is an immediate threat to human health and safety.

For more information on living with bears, click here.

Source: ODFW

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