Issaquah is bear country. Throughout the Pacific Northwest, spring and summer are bear season. Recent reports of black bear activity serve as a reminder to take precautions to avoid bear encounters. Unsecured garbage containers, pet food and birdfeeders can attract hungry bears looking for a meal.
Below are some tips for living near wildlife and coexisting with bears peacefully.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) offers the following tips to prevent conflicts between bears and humans:
- Never intentionally feed bears or other wild animals.
- Keep garbage cans in a garage or another secure area until collection day.
- Remove pet food from areas accessible to wildlife.
- Thoroughly clean barbecue grills after each use.
- Take down seed and hummingbird birdfeeders until winter.
- Clean up fallen fruit.
If you encounter a bear:
- Don't run.
- Pick up small children.
- Stand tall, wave your arms above your head and shout.
- Do not approach the animal and be sure to leave it an escape route.
- Try to get upwind of the bear so that it can identify you as a human and leave the area.
Two state laws prohibit leaving food or food waste in
places where it can attract bears and other wild carnivores. Unintentionally or“negligently” feeding bears can bring a fine of $87, while the fine for
intentional feeding can be as much as $1,000.