Black bears spotted in Eugene city limits

Here's what to do to keep bears away.

Posted: May 14, 2021 7:15 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Black bears are being spotted within the Eugene city limits, but officials with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife say this is normal.

ODFW knows of at least four bears that were seen in Eugene. However, there could be more.

Black bears tend to wander into residential areas every spring looking for food, officials said. Their main source of food, berries, are not as abundant as they will be later in the summer. So the bears are attracted to the smell of food in trash cans, barbecue grills, and even parked cars.

One ODFW official said the public should make sure to put food away after a barbecue and secure trash cans.

"We need the communities to help in removing food attractants that are drawing these bears inside the city limits, and if everybody does their part and removes these food attractants, the bears will leave on their own and go back out to natural areas and live their life as wild bears," said Christopher Yee, a district wildlife biologist.

Yee said if a bear does get comfortable finding food in a residential area, they'll have to kill it. ODFW said there are about 30,000 black bears living in Oregon. 

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