Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bear update

(from backlog, this happened just about exactly a year ago…)

I had heard rumors of the bear. After seeing a man in the back yard with a gun and encountering a visiting grandfather who had seen the bear (see original bear post here), I got my turn. We were sitting downstairs watching a movie. You know how sometimes in your peripheral vision you will think you see something big and hairy, the proverbial monster, but when you turn to look it is a robin, or a squirrel? I glimpsed something out the corner of my eye, turned to look, and it WAS a big hairy monster just cruising through the back yard. In no way did it seem predatory or interested in diversion, but it was BIG, strong, and powerful. Awesome. We ran upstairs for a better view and all saw it out the bedroom window. I immediately called the neighbor whose yard he'd gone into, and her husband ran out with a camera, which startled the bear who ran away down the path to the next street over.

I called to report the sighting (which we are told to do, but, I'm learning, might not be in the best interest of the bear). That night I saw ranger trucks with big lights out looking for it. I learned later that it was a 350-pound male and had been tranquilized the next morning and moved to a more remote location because they felt it was getting too used to people.

That was a first for me. I finally saw a bear in the "wild." I am thrilled. There is a surreal feeling to seeing a large, wild creature like that trotting by the kids' swing set and trampoline. The lawn just seemed so wrong.

No personal sightings since but rumors of more bears and a report last week of a mountain lion at 10:30 pm a few blocks away. A few weeks ago, the new family from Scotland took video of the fresh bear scat on the sidewalk just around the corner. Heard some loud sniffing outside the window the other night, but when I went to look, nothing there. Could have been a dog, a raccoon, a fox, or...

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