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The "Fox Island Bear" strolling through the Webmaster's yard near 12th Ct. in April, 2000.  Photo by John Ohlson

Fox Island Bear News

If you see a bear near your property, tell us about it!  Send an e-mail to the Webmaster, by filling out our Feedback Form.

From: Wildlife Enforcement Office
Date: 4/27/01

Thank you for contacting the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Enforcement Program.

Actually, WDFW has not received one bear complaint in Pierce County (as of April 27, 2001). In extremely cold climates where there is heavy snow, now would be the time you would see them. Normally bears become most active during spring because they are just coming out of hibernation. They are looking for quick food sources and are VERY hungry. However, our lowland bear populations do not hibernate (depending on how bad the winter is).

Bears are opportunistic. The best thing to remember is always keep garbage secured, don't feed your pets outside, remove bird feeders (bears just love them), and keep the area around your house free from food articles (compost, etc.).

Enforcement Program

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Update - 9/24/00:
There have been no new sightings of either the bear or the cougar for nearly a month now.  Perhaps the bear has gone into hibernation?

Cheryl Hoover, 8/26/00:
 I just returned from our daughter's house at the end of 12th Ct. There was a bear ready to walk down their driveway!!! When it saw me, it went in the woods at the end of the road. Either this is a different bear or the return of our last one. Just want to warn everyone especially since there a quite a few children on that road. 

bulletThe "Fox Island Bear" was featured in a Front Page story in the Tacoma News Tribune. 

If a bear is threatening people or destroying property on the Gig Harbor side of the Narrows, Report your sighting to State Department of Fish and Wildlife officer Ted Jackson by leaving a  message for him through the State Patrol at 360-478-4646

The "Fox Island Bear" looks for a snack... Photo by Dan Stewart

Dan Stewart, 4/30/00:

We were truly excited to see a bear prints on our porch and then to see the bear sorting out items in our garbage can.  This was about 5PM 4-28-00 at our place on Cedrona Bay.  We called the Dept. of Wildlife and the person who spoke to us suggested putting our garbage can in the garage for awhile.  He did not indicate any concern about the situation.  The bear walked through our daughter's raised garden beds and it punctured the garbage can, but in exchange we really got a thrill.  We shooed away a neighbor's dog and got our cats in.  The bear really shook our fig tree, apparently trying to knock down the bird houses in it.  Dan got some good photos with his digital camera and in minutes had prints done using his computer.  
Dan, Delores, and Lynn Stewart, Fox Island. 

Bear Tips from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Thank you for contacting the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Enforcement Program.

Yes, our officers are aware of the bear. We are monitoring the situation so we can determine when he/she leaves the island.  Unfortunately, moving a culvert trap out there to relocate him is impossible because of accessibility and proximity to people in the area.  Officials believe the bear will leave the island, but keep a close watch.  If the bear becomes aggressive, contact us immediately.

Isn't it amazing that right here in Washington, we have black bears. Black bears are not known to be aggressive, such as their cousins, the Grizzly bear. However, they are still considered wildlife. So, precautions need to be taken.

Make sure you secure your garbage cans (bring in to the garage if you have to) and don't feed your cats/dogs outside (also, don't leave food outside).  If you are outside and the bear is present, just walk away slowly (facing the bear).  Never turn your back on any wild animal.  Try not to make eye contact with the bear.  Basically, just use your common sense.  Remember, you are in their environment.  Bears have been here long before humans, but now we have built houses, apartments, and buildings in their habitat.  We need to coexist because we all depend on one another.

If you have any more questions, or concerns, please don't hesitate and send us another e-mail. We will be glad to help.

Department of Fish and Wildlife,
Enforcement Program

P.S. Nice pictures!

The Tacoma Pierce Co. Humane Society:

Humane Society said to leave the bear alone.  Do not leave out any dog food, bird seed, food scraps or garbage cans.  If the bear continues to find food to eat, he/she will continue to forage amongst the Island residents.

Bear Sightings

A large black bear has been sighted around Fox Island during the Spring of 2011.  So far, no damage has been reported to animals or property by this bear.

Cheryl Hoover, 4/28/00:
How about a "Island Wildlife" section? There have been several sightings of a black bear on Fox Island the past week. Just last night it was in our yard and stayed for a while.

I think it is just checking things out. He certainly is a beautiful creature! Everyone should be aware that this big guy is here and children should also be made aware.

In the 16 years that we have lived on Fox Island, this is only the second time I have seen a bear. This is truly a rare site. Lets remember, these creatures were here long before us. 

Moving on to greener pastures; 4/30/00

The Bear by the Swing set, Drawing by Heather Ohlson, age 4

John & Lise' Ohlson, 4/30/00:
The infamous "Fox Island Bear" made his way to our yard today.  After hearing some crashing through the brush, he calmly wandered out into our yard, walked past the kid's swing set, and up past the camper and then down the driveway.  We did manage to get a short video and some photos of it. 

Feedback from Kelly Merriman, 4/28/00:
Until today I was unaware that there were black bears on Fox Island. A bear walked into my yard and proceeded to tear my bird feeder apart for the seed and suet it contained. Other than that, no harm was done and after a picture the bear moved on. 

I am not sure how many Island residents know about or have seen a bear on the Island. Am I alone? I wanted to let people know that there are bears on the island and this bear was not afraid of me! My yells could not deter his hunger! I was not sure where to inquire about this. Could you please e-mail me with some info about our Island bears? 
Thank you 

Robbing a bird feeder, on Old North Shore  4/29/00 - Bobbe Richter 4/29/00:
Just looked at web site and saw the account of black bear tearing apart bird feeder.  Guess shouts didn't deter it.  Another sighting was also seen. Where were these sightings?  And what is the solution? Perhaps the next issue should have an article on this so we know if our deer here on the island are in danger as well as the children that run and play here.  Having spent 12 years in Alaska one respects what a bear can do.  Just had friends have bear go through there windows and doors on cabin up in Alaska looking for food.  Once a bear finds food he will return.  Just curious about what others think.  Guess I am a little spooked to be honest here on my 3 acres with a lot of woods and lots of visits by my grandkids that play so freely and go down a trail to the beach.  That's all, hope to see article in Flash about it.  Love all creatures, not an animal hater at all but want no one to get hurt.  A friendly bear is not a good bear to have around homes etc.  Perhaps he will have to be relocated.  What do you hear from others?

Elbert & Mary Law, 4/29/00:
The Black bear made the rounds on Island Blvd Saturday afternoon about 12:30 P M.
  We were in the driveway at The Barn Sale when a neighbor, pointed out the bear.  He came up the road between us, meandered thru the yard then went down toward the Fox Island Bridge. Like the others, we got cameras but were unable to get a photo. 

I want in!  What's for dinner?  4/29/00 - Bobbe Richter

Cheryl Hoover 4/30/00:
A lot of people have seen this bear. He seems to be pretty mellow and only looking for food. I would love to see someone put up pictures of this precious creature on this site for all to enjoy. I tried to take pictures however, my camera was nowhere to be found.  I have since found it and have it hanging on the stair banister.  We live on Kamus down from the fire station and have been visited twice now by this big guy.  He seems to come visiting in the evenings sometime after 5:00pm.  I am so glad to see that other people have have this bear visiting them also since people tend not to believe you when you mention it. 
Enjoy this rare experience.......

If you saw the bear near your property, tell us about it!  Send an e-mail to the Webmaster, by filling out our Feedback Form.

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