WDFW says garbage, not bear, is the problemon October 29, 2012 @ 12:06 pm (Updated: 3:31 pm - 10/29/12 )
"This is a people problem. This is not a bear problem," says Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Kim Chandler. "The place is a mess to be quite honest with you. There is garbage everywhere. This is what is attracting the bears."
Neighbor Mike Dotson tells KOMO News the bear has been clawing at doors and charged at him.
But Chandler tells Ross and Burbank the bear isn't acting aggressively.
"This is not an aggressive bear. He is looking for food."
Chandler says three WDFW officers have been out to the scene and it's residents' failure to properly secure trash that is drawing the bears in.
Garbage attracting bears is not an unusual problem for the department.
"We have a law now," says Chandler. "The Legislature found this was enough of a problem that they passed a law that enables us now to cite folks who are not cleaning up their garbage and who are feeding, intentionally or unintentionally, dangerous wildlife."
Chandler says everyone thinks tranquilizing bears is the answer in these types of cases, but he says it's not. Tranquilizing a bear is a very intensive operation and he says ultimately, it won't solve the problem.
"If you remove a bear, if the garbage and everything is still there, another bear is just going to come right in and take his place," says Chandler. "Once the food source is gone, end of problem. They're going to go elsewhere."
At last check, Chandler says efforts had been made by the Maple Valley neighbors to keep trash contained.
After all the proper work is done to clear the area of trash - Chandler recommends further cleaning with a bleach solution to remove any scent - he says the bear should not return.
If a bear does continue coming back in those cases where all necessary steps have been taken to appropriately contain items food and garbage, he says then the department will consider taking more extraordinary steps to remove the animal.
Bonneville Media encourages site users to express their opinions by posting comments. Our goal is to maintain a civil dialogue in which readers feel comfortable. At times, the comments can descend to personal attacks. Please do not engage in such behavior. We encourage your thoughtful comments which: have a positive and constructive tone, are on topic, are respectful toward others and their opinions. Bonneville reserves the right to remove comments which do not conform to these criteria.