ISSAQUAH, Wash. (KOMO) — A bear was spotted roaming the streets of Issaquah, Washington Wednesday afternoon.
The video below captures the shocking and rare occurrence of what looks to be a black bear walking down a sidewalk before crossing the street.
However, while bear encounters can be a memorable experience, they can also be just as dangerous. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) said that approaching, disturbing, feeding, or unethically viewing bears is likely to have a negative or dangerous outcome.
The FWS also stated that the most common human-bear conflicts involve unsecured attractants like garbage and human food.
Below is a list of ways to protect yourself from a potential bear encounter, according to the FWS:
- Never approach bears, always remain at least 100 yards (300 feet) away, or about the length of a football field.
- Practice ethical wildlife viewing by remaining a safe distance and never disturbing natural behaviors.
- Never feed, leave food for, or make food accessible to bears.
- Store food, garbage, barbecue grills, and other attractants in locked hard-sided vehicles or bear-resistant storage boxes.
- Carry bear spray, know how to use it, and make sure it is accessible.
- Hike or ski in groups of three or more, stay on maintained trails and make noise.
- Avoid hiking at dusk, dawn, or at night.
- Do not run if you encounter a bear.
- Instead of traditional bird feeders, set up birdhouses or birdbaths, plant native flowers, or set up hanging flower baskets for hummingbirds.
- Keep chickens and other small livestock properly secured using electric fencing or keep them inside a closed shed with a door.
- Report bear sightings, encounters, and conflicts immediately to your state or tribal wildlife management agency.