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Black Bear Sighting at Medford Airport

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MEDFORD, Ore. — The Rogue Valley International Airport is back to its normal operations after a security breach early Sunday morning.

A black bear made a surprise appearance at the airport.  Airport staff along with police kept a close eye on the bear as it wandered around the premises.  Airport security said this is a rare occurrence at the Medford Airport.

“A bear never… coyotes, live skunks, birds…pretty common; it’s a large area, kind of a wild life reserve for those type of things,” said Rogue Valley International Security Officer, Leyne Chan.

Police along with airport security corralled the bear.

“We were in vehicles, you know, the bear was not harmed,” said Chan. “We kept distance just mainly keeping eyes on the bear was our plan of attack.”

Their main priority was keeping visitors safe and away from the bear, but at the time, only a few people were at their airport

“There wasn’t too many out here, maybe 10 or 15 passengers in the area. Our concern was it being in the rental car lot, that’s where a lot of the bear was, and that is where people were going to be showing up at,” said Chan.

The bear eventually left the airport property and headed west into a nearby neighborhood.  One man said he saw the bear in his drive way.

“It was a black bear… a medium sized black bear,” said neighborhood resident Billy Brothers.

Brothers thought it was a dog at first, but then he realized it was a bear.

“I saw it, and once it looked at me it took off,” said Brothers. “So I got in my truck and tried to follow it, and my neighbors saw it jump the fence and go in the creek.”

The bear was last seen in a creek near Cascade Christian School in Medford. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is currently handling the situation, but they said unless the bear starts showing signs of aggression, they will leave it alone.

The airport said they do have surveillance footage of the bear, but were not willing to release it Sunday.  Officials said they do plan on releasing it Monday.