Bears spotted close to schools

Bear sightings were reported near Snoqualmie Middle School, Cascade View Elementary School and Snoqualmie Fire Station, on Monday morning, May 11.

“Spring is upon us and the bears are out enjoying the fresh air,” cautioned an e-mail from the middle school.

The sightings were reported to the state Fish and Wildlife Department.

Reported sightings are “way down from previous years,” possibly due to the late spring, said Bill Hebner, an enforcement official with the department.

Bears are more likely to encounter humans in the late spring and early summer, after coming out of hibernation and before vegetation, especially berries, have grown.

“As bears try to satisfy their voracious appetite after not eating for four months, they’re going to investigate anything that smells like food,” Hebner said.

Food smells ranging from barbecues to trash cans to bird feeders can draw bears from miles away. People should not leave anything with food smells outside and should not fill bird feeders between April 15 and October 15, Hebner cautioned.

Bears accustomed to human-supplied food sources can become aggressive in searching for a meal.

For information on bears in Washington state, check online at

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