Mother bear and cubs spotted on new Lithia Park trail

ASHLAND, Ore. – There was a new bear sighting on a trail in Ashland’s Lithia Park.

The reported sighting of a large mother bear and two cubs happened on the newly-created Snark Trail on the afternoon of Thursday, February 24.

The Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission said while it’s not unusual to see bears in the area, interactions should be avoided, especially with mother bears and cubs. It’s also worth considering carrying bear spray on hikes.

“People should ‘be bear aware’ and do their part to avoid creating situations that are dangerous for people and bears,” said Mathew Vargas, ODFW’s Rogue District assistant wildlife biologist. “Black bears are wild animals that can behave unpredictably and may quickly become a human safety problem if habituated to human food.”

Wildlife officials are asking the public to take the following steps to prevent bears from getting food within the city:

  • Never feed bears.
  • Put garbage cans out just before pick-up.
  • Recology Ashland offers bear-resistant cans, call 541-482-1471.
  • Keep pet food inside.
  • Remove bird feeders.
  • Keep BBQ grills clean or in a garage.
  • Clean up fruit under trees.

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, use rocks, sticks and hands.

Bear activity in Ashland can be reported to the city at:  https://gis.ashland.or.us/bear/

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