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Black bear seen on Orcas Island

An unusual visitor to the islands was spotted this afternoon.. A black bear was seen about 4 p.m. Saturday, May 27 in the 1100 block of Point Lawrence Road on Orcas Island. It was heading towards Obstruction Pass.

The Sheriff's Office has been unable to locate the bear. The Department of Fish and Wildlife was contacted. They said the bear probably swam to the island and that bears have been seen  on outer islands before. Black bears can swim incredible distances. 

One of the largest populations of black bears lives a short distance away on Vancouver Island. 

DFW asks that you not attempt to feed or harm the bear. They are safe and not aggressive unless they are cornered. They tend to get aggressive when  fed. DFW said they eat vegetation and that you are more likely to be attacked by a raccoon than a black bear.  

The Sheriff's Office asks that you keep your garbage locked up. If you see the bear standing on its hind legs it is only being inquisitive. 

If you see the bear, please call San Juan County Sheriff's Office at 360.378.4151.

Shooting the bear is considered poaching and is illegal. Please do not harm the bear.


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