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Bear sighting within city limits

Photo of a bear in the area of Thornton Road and Elder Road (May 10, 2016). Photo courtesy Shaaron Coleman

It has been a month since the last bear sighting in the Ferndale area and last night a resident reported getting an eyeful while looking out at her front yard.

A bear was seen walking through the resident’s front yard as it made its way eastward from the Glacierview neighborhood crossing Malloy Avenue near Jensen Street, north of Thornton Street. The resident noted the bear appeared small and speculated it might be a cub now on its own.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Game Warden Dave Jones said there have been no reported incidents of livestock or pets having been killed that have been associated with a bear or bears in the area. The only property damage has been bird feeders.

During late summer and fall, according to WDFW officials, bears’ diet is mostly tree fruits, berries and nuts and they will also consume a variety of plants. Fall is a critical season for black bears since they need to increase their body weight by 35% in preparation for winter. They may forage up to 20 hours a day during the fall.

The recent bear sighting serves as a reminder of the many different wildlife known to reside, albeit staying mostly hidden from humans, in western Whatcom County. According to WDFW, these include bobcats, coyotes, cougars and black bears.

To minimize conflicts by not attracting undesirable wildlife to your property, WDFW officials advise:

  • Avoid deliberately or inadvertently feeding the animals, whether by handouts or by providing access to food sources such as garbage, pet food or livestock carcasses
  • Prevent the buildup of feeder foods under bird feeders
  • Keep dogs and cats indoors, especially from dusk to dawn
  • Feed dogs and cats indoors
  • Don’t leave small children unattended outdoors
  • Don’t feed feral cats, deer, raccoons and other small wildlife


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