Officials: Bear activity higher than normal

A viewer took a picture of a bear, which can be seen just behind the guardrail at the center of the photo.

A bear going through trash near 30th Avenue was euthanized earlier this year when it became aggressive, ODFW says.

Posted: May 30, 2018 3:37 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- While bears are not uncommon on the outskirts of Eugene, bear activity is higher than normal right now, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

One recent bear sighting has people in one South Eugene neighborhood on alert. Resident Travis Holmes spotted a black bear near Spencer Butte on Willamette Street not far from where he lives.

“As we came upon the crest of the hill, there was a trash can tipped over with a bear digging in it,” Holmes said. “And as we pulled up, he hopped over the guardrail and stood right back up and let me take a picture of him.”

ODFW says another bear was caught going through trash near 30th Avenue earlier in the year and was euthanized when it became aggressive.

Officials say it’s a people problem and not a bear problem, and residents in the area should educate themselves.

Residents should bear proof their yards and keep garbage cans secure. Adding lime to compost piles will help reduce odors. Pet food should be stored inside, as well. Lastly, officials say bird feeders should hang at least 10 feet off the ground.

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