At first it was mistaken for a dog. A large, hairy dog with an odd-shaped
head which looked just like a bear’s
Then the reality sunk in during first lunch at Olympic High School — there
was a black bear strolling
through campus on Wednesday.
“They first saw it walking down by the lower portables,” assistant principal
Richard Arena said. “Then it walked up past the upper portables and off
campus.” Arena said he followed the creature down a driveway on
Tibardis Road. He then got his car, along with
school security, kept an eye out for its return as the school was locked
This was the second time in a month school district officials had to send a
note home to parents warning about bears
on campus. Cottonwood Elementary parents received a note on May 11 that
someone spotted a bear near the
campus on Foster Road. School officials said they were paying closer
attention to students when they were outside.
Black bears aren’t uncommon in
our area. According to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, there are
an estimated 25,000 bruins in Washington. They weigh an average of 150-225
pounds and are skilled scavengers when it comes to finding food. Males, who
are the larger of the species, tend to roam widely.
Silverdale resident Ken Kramer saw first-hand how crafty a black
bear can be when it comes to food
On the night of June 2 his wife was watching TV and sewing inside their
Gregory Lane home when she sensed someone was staring at her through a
When she looked up she saw a bear
on the back porch and yelled, Kramer said.
“That spooked it off the porch,” he said. “But it was not skittish at all,
like it was used to having people around.”
The bear nearly got a hold on a
bird feeder Kramer said was hanging seven feet off the ground. That inspired
him to call 911 which referred him to a State Patrol dispatcher who said to
use pots and pans to make some noise to drive the
“It meandered off down toward Schold Road. So I
called the neighbor and told him not to let his dog out,” Kramer said. “And
I haven’t seen it since.”
Black bears are omnivores, which
means they eat both plants and animals. The WDFW Web site states their diet
consists of grasses; berries; nuts; tubers; wood fiber; insects; small
mammals, including deer fawns and elk calves; eggs; honey; carrion (dead
animals); fish and occasionally livestock.
But seeing one up close when you don’t expect it still comes as a surprise.
“It’s kind of a shock, you don’t expect to look out a window and see a
bear,” Kramer said.