Bear seen roaming near Bothell is captured

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 18, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 18 at 11:32 PM

BOTHELL, Wash. --- The bear that prompted two Bothell schools to go into modified lockdowns Wednesday morning has been captured. 

Wildlife officials say the bear was shot with a tranquilizer dart Wednesday afternoon.  It managed to escape capture, but tracking dogs later found the bear up a 20 foot tree nearby at around 7:30 Wednesday night.

The bear climbed down on its own and they tranquilized the bear again.  He eventually went to sleep.  The first dart had hit the bear in the snout.  The bear will be released sometime Thursday.

Earlier Wednesday, the bear was spotted around 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Northshore Junior High School, putting both Northshore and Woodmoor Elementary in modified lockdowns as a precaution.

That wasn't the the first time it was spotted. Wildlife agents say the 2-year-old cub has been seen six times in 24 hours, heading north through neighborhoods from Kirkland yesterday.

One of the last places it was seen was Robert Carroll's Rose Hill backyard.

"I thought, there's a bear in my backyard," said Carroll recalling the incident from Tuesday. "This is Kirkland, this isn't happening."

But the 150-pound bear proved no match for Little Schmoopie, a skittish three-pound teacup poodle pup. She sent the bear scrambling up a tree when it wandered into Carroll's backyard.

"She loves chasing squirrels in the yard, but this is the biggest thing she's chased so far," said Carroll.

The late spring is bringing out hungry bears like the one caught in Renton Monday. Three have been captured and relocated recently.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife say these bears aren't dangerous, but advises families to follow these preventative measures to keep bears away:

  • Keep pet and livestock food indoors.
  • Store garbage in secure, wildlife-resistant containers.
  • Wash barbecue grills immediately after use.
  • Enclose beehives and fruit trees with chain-link or electric fencing where practicable to prevent bear depredation.

If you come in close contact with a bear:

  • Stay calm and avoid direct eye contact, which could elicit a charge. Try to stay upwind and identify yourself as a human by standing up, talking and waving your hands above your head.
  • Do not approach the bear, particularly if cubs are present. Give the bear plenty of room.
  • If you cannot safely move away from the bear, and the animal does not flee, try to scare it away by clapping your hands or yelling.
  • If the bear attacks, fight back aggressively. As a last resort, should the attack continue, protect yourself by curling into a ball or lying on the ground on your stomach and playing dead.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife responds to cougar and bear sightings when there is a threat to public safety or property. If it is an emergency, dial 911.

If you encounter a cougar or black bear problem, and it is not an emergency, contact the nearest regional Department of Fish and Wildlife office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. In King County, the number to call is 425-775-1311. 

For more information visit www.wdfw.wa.gov/living/bears.html

 

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