Bear Sightings in Ashland

bearwatch1ASHLAND, Ore. — Two bears have been seen in different parts of Ashland, and officials with the Oregon Department of Forestry say this is earlier than normal for the bears to be out of their dens.

Officials say the bears have been seen in the Les Schwab area near Exit 14 and also in Lithia Park. The calls to ODFW are just sightings, there have been no reports of the bears being aggressive or causing any damage. ODFW says bears typically come out of their dens in April and sometimes even May.

“What these bears are doing, they’ve never really got into a good torpor to go to sleep, and they’re marauding, looking for some food sources right now. Their bodies never really shut down by going into a hibernation, so they need some energy to survive,” explains Mark Vargas with the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.

ODFW says if you come across a bear, don’t make it feel cornered and instead, back away slowly.