Officers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Law Enforcement Program look to divert a black bear from residents and homes north of Sequim this past weekend. (Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

Officers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Law Enforcement Program look to divert a black bear from residents and homes north of Sequim this past weekend. (Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

Roaming black bear draws attention on Sequim beaches

State biologists transport animal safely out of the area

SEQUIM — Just passing through?

A 2-year-old small black bear created a stir Saturday as it roamed Dungeness Landing County Park and the tide flats near 3 Crabs Road. State biologists tracked and eventually darted and transported the bear to the foothills of the Olympic Mountains for the safety of the animal and residents, state officials said this week.

Sgt. Kit Rosenberger of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Law Enforcement Program said the sighting was quite rare, and residents told WDFW officers they hadn’t seen a bear in the area in 30-plus years.

A 2-year-old black bear is darted and transported into the upper Dungeness watershed by wildlife officers April 11, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

A 2-year-old black bear is darted and transported into the upper Dungeness watershed by wildlife officers April 11, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

The department had received several recent reports of bear sightings all the way from O’Brien Road between Sequim and Port Angeles to Old Olympic Highway and Agnew areas, Rosenberger said, before wildlife officers tracked it to Dungeness Landing County Park near Marine Drive late last week. Officers were on the scene and warned people to keep their distance, he said.

“The park is closed, but there were people there anyway,” Rosenberger said.

The bear, which stayed in the park about 14 hours, “was not in a hurry to leave,” he said, but wasn’t aggressive toward people.

Wildlife officers tried to bait the animal into a trap but the bear didn’t take to the sweets — a good sign, Rosenberger said, since that indicates the bear isn’t dependent on human food.

Officers then tried to shoo the bear toward the Dungeness River to make its way southward toward the mountains but, as Rosenberger noted, “the bear wanted to go for a stroll on the beach.”

It meandered on the tide flats toward Jamestown beaches and 3 Crabs area.

“(Officers) were telling people to keep their distance,” Rosenberger said.

Wildlife officers keep tabs on a 2-year-old black bear it sedated after the animal approached homes near the 3 Crabs area April 11, 2020. The bear was darted and transported into the upper Dungeness watershed. (Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

Wildlife officers keep tabs on a 2-year-old black bear it sedated after the animal approached homes near the 3 Crabs area April 11, 2020. The bear was darted and transported into the upper Dungeness watershed. (Photo courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

As the bear neared houses, officers on the scene decided to dart the bear and remove it, he said.

“It was the safest thing for the bear and people,” Rosenberger said.

After it was darted, the bear was given a quick check-up, deemed healthy and then was tagged in case there are more sightings, he said.

The bear was then released in the upper Dungeness watershed, he said.

As for advice for residents who come upon a bear?

“Keep your distance,” Rosenberger said. “Bears, for the most part, are not aggressive toward people.”

If there is a concern for personal safety or property, he advised calling the WDFW enforcement office at 360-902-2936.

To see a video of the bear’s stroll on the beach taken by Sequim photographer John Gussman, visit vimeo.com/406672771.

A small black bear traverses the beach near 3 Crabs Road last week. (Photo by John Gussman)

A small black bear traverses the beach near 3 Crabs Road last week. (Photo by John Gussman)

More in News

Seattle cops dismantle ‘occupied’ zone, arrest more than 30

By Martha Bellisle and Lisa Baumann | The Associated Press SEATTLE —… Continue reading

Early-morning fire damages East Sequim Bay Road home

An early Wednesday morning fire left a 4,000-square-foot home on… Continue reading

Bobby Beeman named OMC’s director of marketing, communications

Bobby Beeman, an employee of Olympic Medical Center for… Continue reading

Sequim to temporarily close Washington Street for July 4 shopping

West Washington Street between Sequim and Second avenues will be… Continue reading

More COVID-19 cases in Clallam; none new in Jefferson

Four more Clallam County residents have been reported Wednesday as having tested… Continue reading

Shelter resident, Serenity House employee test positive

Outbreak apparently one of two mentioned by county health officer

Port Angeles School District board to mull reopening plan

Public can view, listen in on today’s special meeting

Most Read