Bear sightings in populated areas are up across Oregon, as poor berry crops have led the animals to search further for food.
Beth Quillian is with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. She said black bear attacks are rare, but communication among neighbors can mitigate risk.
“Community effort is definitely going to go the furthest in helping to reduce bear conflict in areas.”
Quillian suggests removing outside fridges, purchasing animal-resistant garbage cans and not leaving trash out overnight. She said bears can also be attracted to the smell of uncleaned grills.
In an encounter, loud noises such as banging pots can scare black bears away and keep them from coming back. Quillian recommends calling the ODFW if a bear is exhibiting aggressive behavior.
There are at least 25,000 black bears in the state, according to ODFW estimates. This year, a wet spring and late summer reduced their food supply.