Wildlife officials to hold ‘bear aware’ chat at Medford’s REI

MEDFORD, Ore. – Local foresters and wildlife officials are holding an in-person event to discuss how to be “bear aware.”

Between 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, representatives from the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold an in-person chat regarding outdoor recreation, bears, human behavior, and how to keep everyone safe while recreating in Southern Oregon.

The discussion, which will be held at the Medford REI outdoor store, will go over known issues with bears, behaviors, and what people can do to keep bear habituation from happening.

For more details about the meeting, visit https://www.facebook.com/R6RRSNF

If you’re not able to attend, wildlife officials suggest public to take the following steps to prevent bears from getting used to humans:

  • 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.

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