This past Saturday a resident form Sammamish notified me of three bears hanging out in her neighbor’s tree. I quickly turned my car around and headed to her house. When I arrived, there were five people in the street, heads up, staring at a 70 foot cedar tree. I knew the bears had to be in that tree, but they were barely visible. Soon my eyes picked out the three black spots hidden in the branches. The resident who called me explained that the bears broke into her neighbor’s chicken coop and ate a few chicks. Fish and Wildlife was called to set a trap next to the chicken coop.
I found out the neighbor has lived in this Sammamish neighborhood for seven years and never saw bears until last year when construction began nearby on a new subdivision. She believes this same sow was spotted last summer rummaging through garbage and feeding on bird feeders. Following these incidents, the entire neighborhood worked together to remove attractants and keep garbage stored inside until the morning of garbage pick-up. Unfortunately, the allure of the chickens was too great for the sow to resist. I gave the neighbor information about electric fencing the coop and also reminded her to remove ripe or fallen fruit from her apple trees.
For more tips on coexisting with bears visit GBOP’s website.