News

Bear spotted at NBSP


Tillamook County is home to many species of wildlife that often go unseen or unnoticed by its residents. However, on May 28, an adult black bear weighing approximately 150 pounds was spotted near the entrance of Nehalem Bay State Park.
By Max Kirkendall
For the North Coast Citizen
Oregon is home to about 25,000 to 30,000 black bears – although they often go unseen. Generally black in color, they also can be brown, cinnamon or blond. Fast and agile, they are good swimmers and climbers who prefer forests, trails and streambeds.
“While we know that black bears are around, this is an uncommon occurrence in my experience,” Nehalem Bay State Park Manager Ben Cox said. “Cougar sightings, though rare, do happen on occasion. Coyote observance is well documented and frequent.”
These animals are omnivorous, but their diet consists mostly of vegetation. Throughout Oregon, black bears are gluttonous consumers of berries, fruit, grasses, plants and occasionally other animals. Also, black bears can often be found scavenging for human garbage.
According to Cox, their behavior can be unpredictable at times, especially if it is a sow with cubs, so it is best to simply avoid them.
“If you encounter a black bear while on foot, back away slowly while facing the bear,” Cox said. “Do not make sudden movements or run away and do not make eye contact.”
Even though there have not been any other reports of bear sightings since the initial report on May 28, Cox encourages everyone to brush up on their bear safety for the upcoming summer.
A few tips from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) include: Giving any bear you encounter a way to escape; if you see bear cubs, steer clear and leave the area; if a bear stands on his hind legs, he is trying to detect scents and not necessarily behaving aggressively and in the unlikely event you are attacked, fight back – shout, be aggressive, use rocks, sticks and hands to fend off an attack.
Black bear attacks are uncommon and in most cases, a bear will avoid human contact. For more tips and information on Oregon’s black bears you can visit the ODFW website at www.dfw.state.or.us.