ODFW urging Ashland residents to be cautious of bears

ASHLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says that black bears are roaming the streets of Ashland looking for food and the department advises not to give them free lunch. Every spring, hungry bears are drawn into the city by the scent of unsecured garbage, dirty grills, bird feeders, and pet food left outside.

The bears can cause property damage, have broken into homes and sheds, and create human safety issues. This happens again in the fall when bears are fattening up to den.

ODFW and the Ashland Police Department urge residents and visitors to be “bearwise” and remove these food sources. Make sure never to feed the bears, secure food, never leave pet food outdoors, and clean grills after each use.

If you encounter a bear:

STOP: Never approach a bear at any time for any reason. If you see bear cubs, leave the area.

GIVE IT SPACE: Give any bear you encounter a way to escape.

STAY CALM: Do not run or make sudden movements. Face the bear and slowly back away.

AVOID EYE CONTACT: Don’t make eye contact with the bear.

DON’T RUN: It may encourage the bear to chase you.

FIGHT BACK: In the unlikely event, you are attacked, fight back, shout, be aggressive, and use rocks, sticks, and hands.

Report non-emergency bear activity in Ashland through the city’s bear reporting website or by calling ODFW directly at 541-826-8774. Dial 911 if there is an immediate threat to human health and safety.

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Jenna King is the 6pm anchor and our Feature Reporter at 10pm and 11pm for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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