October 16, 2013 | LXXIII, No. 29

Two bears shot in town

Tribal natural resource officers shot two black bears last week that have been repeated uninvited guests in Coulee Dam.

The town has been bothered by black bears visiting both the commercial and residential areas recently. One bear was shot on Fir Street early in the morning about the time that children were going to school, and the other was shot on Tilmus about 10:30 at night. A resident near Tilmus said it sounded like a shooting war. Both bears were 2-year-olds.

“Please do not feed the bears,” states an informational poster sent out from the tribal Fish and Wildlife Department in response to recent calls.

Bear are drawn to smells such as garbage, pet foods, bird feed, compost piles, fruit trees, berry bushes, livestock feed, dirty barbecue grills, beehives and petroleum products.

They advised to keep yards clean, pick fruit as it ripens and don’t leave fallen fruit on the ground.

Feeding bears, even unintentionally, can have serious consequences for both humans and bears. The two animals that had to be destroyed last week illustrate how severe.

The poster also advises:

• If you encounter a bear, move your family indoors immediately, remain calm and don’t panic.

• Respect the bear’s space and never approach a bear.

• If you see a baby bear, don’t try to pet it, because the mother bear is likely nearby.

• Don’t scream or yell because this may provoke the bear, and don’t run because this could trigger a pursuit.

• If you spot a bear in a residential area, you can call Rick Desautel at (509) 631-1224.

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