Sheriff provides update on wandering bear

So far the bear has been roaming over every part of San Juan Island.  If you see him please report it to the Sheriff's Office so we can track him. 360.378.4151. Here are some points to remember:  

Photo of 2019 bear on Orcas Island.  Photo by Janice Williams

1. Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Sheriff's Office are working cooperatively to monitor the situation.

2. The bear's activities have been tracked since it left Camano Island a couple of weeks ago. At no point has the bear been reported to be agressive toward people or animals.

3. Reports indicate that the bear has been interested in bird feeders and unsecured trash exclusively. People are encouraged to remove attractants until the bear moves on. 

4. The bear has been moving so quickly and unpredictably that live trapping for relocation is not feasible at this point. The Orcas bear that WDFW successfully trapped and relocated two years ago was far more predictable. 

Photo of the bear that visited Orcas Island in 2017 and was trapped and relocated to the mainland. Jeff Morris photo 

5. The bear appears to be a male. He is likely in search of companionship and will most likely continue his travels to another island at some point. 

6. Hunting the bear is unlawful.

7. Lethal removal is not being considered. The bear has exhibited no known behaviors that would indicate it poses a threat to public safety, pets or livestock.

8. Despite the bear's non-threatening behavior, people should give the bear space and remember it is still a large wild animal.

More information on black bears and how to avoid conflicts can be found on WDFW's web site.

Editor's Note: There is a facebook page SJI BEARfoot watch group that has several photos of the bear. He was seen at Portland Fair, Mt. Finlayson, False Bay Road and several other places. 



San Juan Island's Sheriff's Log May 8-14: Dog bite, borrowed electricity, and video of person breaking into Lopez Dump

Deputies in San Juan Islands responded to 226 calls between May 8-14, 2019 including: An Orcas Island owner was bit by her own dog. The dog was listed as a potential dangerous dog. The dog was eventually located and placed in quarantine. A Lopez Island deputy responded to a citizen dispute in which one person had plugged into his neighbor's electricity. Security cameras captured images of a subject that had scaled the locked fence/gate into the Lopez Island Take It Or Leave It facility during the night. A Deputy on Orcas Island was investigating suspicious activity at a vacant residence. A person inside that residence was arrested for Residential Burglary, Possession of Stolen Property and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.


Bear Update Sunday, May 19

People have been calling the San Juan County Dispatch Office reporting sightings of the black bear that apparently swam from Orcas Island to San Juan Island on Saturday, May 18, 2019. Albert Brant  posted a video of the bear swimming towards Point Caution Saturday morning. Brant was on board the inter island ferry. The video is posted on Friday Harbor Rant and Rave in a long thread about the bear. The first post in the thread is at 2:13 p.m. Saturday.


Black bear now on San Juan Island

The black bear that has been exploring Orcas Island for the past several days has been spotted on San Juan Island on Saturday, May 18, 2019.  He was seen in the Hillview Terrace area on the east side of the island.

Janice Williams shared this photo of the bear on Orcas Island. 


San Juan Islands Sheriff's Log: Wandering toddler, scam calls, boat accident, lots of traffic stops

Deputies in San Juan Islands responded to 181 calls between May 1-6, 2019 including: A Lopez Island Deputy and Lopez Fire and EMS responded to a missing child complaint. The two-year-old child was subsequently located unharmed by family members. It was determined the child wandered off while following the family pet. On Orcas Island a deputy made a late night traffic stop for a vehicle with a headlight out. Further investigation revealed the driver failed to transfer his title within 45 days. An arrest was made. After a consensual search, suspected drugs were found. The driver was booked into San Juan County Jail. A Deputy responded to a reported traffic offense on Shaw Island that escalated. The investigation revealed probable cause to arrest him for the offenses of assault 3, hit and run on a pedestrian, reckless driving and malicious mischief 3rd degree. The juvenile was sent to a detention center.


San Juan Islands Sheriff's Log: Dog fights, RV camping, grumpy traveler, and lots of traffic citations (Wear your seatbelt)

Deputies in San Juan Islands responded to 221 calls between April 24-30, 2019 including: Orcas Island deputies were dispatched to an active dog fight. Orcas Fire responded to the scene to evaluate one of the owners who had been bitten multiple times. A Lopez Island Deputy responded to an illegal camping complaint on Tower Drive. The owner of the RV stated he was not aware that it was illegal to park his RV in the village and sleep in it overnight.


San Juan Islands Sheriff's Log: Elusive drivers, legal explosives, vehicle abandoned on neighbor's property

Deputies in San Juan Islands responded to 185 calls between April 17-23, 2019 including: A Deputy attempted to stop a vehicle for the driver not wearing a seat belt and expired tabs. The vehicle eluded the Deputy and ran on foot.  A Deputy attempted to stop a motorcycle for speed and obstructed license plate. The motorcycle eluded the Deputy.  Lopez Island deputies responded to multiple reports of explosive sounds coming from a shooting range. The involved parties were shooting at legal exploding targets.  Deputies on Orcas Island responded to a report of a vehicle abandoned on private property. The owner lives at the adjacent property. A resident at that address was contacted and the vehicle was removed.

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