BY BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
A bear cub was spotted roaming the streets of a southwest Redmond neighborhood over the weekend, prompting calls to authorities and, of course, lots of photos.
Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputies tracked the cub from Hemholtz Way east up to appropriately enough, Salmon Avenue to near the intersection of 41st Street.
“We pulled up to our house and saw the bear run out of our yard and over to the neighbor’s house and that’s where we thought it was a dog in the beginning,” said Beau Parazoo. “There were cops around just checking, making sure he wasn’t getting into trash or getting into any trouble. We ended up going down there to see what it was and it was a little cub bear. It was just kinda hanging out in the guy’s yard eating grass and stuff. We took a couple of pictures.”
Wildlife Biologist Corey Heath says its unusual for a yearling bear cub to wander this far from its natural woodland habitat.
“A cub is not much threat to humans as long as people give it a wide berth and don’t try and take pictures or try and grab the cub because it looks cute and cuddly or try and take selfies with it,” Heath said. “If you leave the cub alone it’s probably not a threat to humans. It’s probably not a threat to pets either.”
Wildlife authorities haven’t received any reports of a dead female bear in the area so they are left to speculate about how the cub came to be separated from its mother.
They could have somehow gotten separated by a road, by traffic or a fence. Then people got involved and they just couldn’t get back together which is probably the most likely scenario and the chances of them getting back together now are not very good. And/or the female, the sow, could have kicked the cub out early, earlier than most young bears get kicked out.
Bears are omnivores, meaning they eat everything. As such, residents are encouraged to secure their garbage cans, feed and keep their pets inside and allow what they hope is a visiting bear to move on.
Fish & Wildlife received reported sightings Monday of the bear cub near Brasada Ranch in Powell Butte.
Heath says that’s not a terribly long distance for a bear to move – about 15 miles by car, but probably shorter as the crow flies – but impressive that it crossed highway 97 without being hit by a car.