WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS — A black bear sow and her cub have been frequenting the English Point recreation trail near Hayden Lake, Forest Services officials say.
No reports of aggressive behavior from the bears have been received at the Panhandle National Forests headquarters in Coeur d'Alene, “but it remains important for the public to exercise caution and give the bears plenty of space to ensure future bear encounters are uneventful,” said Jason Kirchner, forest public affairs officer.
“Bear sightings are not unusual but due to the unpredictable nature of bears the public needs to understand that some caution should be taken whenever they are in bear country,” said Coeur d’Alene River District Ranger Chad Hudson.
BEAR ENCOUNTER GUIDELINES
Should you encounter a bear:
- Stay calm. Group together, pick up small children and assess the situation. Prepare to use your bear spray.
- Do not run or make sudden movements, it may instinctively cause the bear to charge you.
- Give bears a chance to identify you as human, and not a threat. If the bear stands up, it is trying to see, hear and smell you better.
- Talk firmly in a low-pitched voice while backing away. Avoid direct eye contact as bears may perceive this as a challenge or threat.
- Continue to back away slowly and cautiously, retreating to a place of safety. Monitor the animal’s response, and adjust your actions accordingly.