Camas residents on alert after repeated bear sightings

Camas residents on alert after repeated bear sightings »Play Video
Photo courtesy Zachary Gaug

CAMAS, Wash. – Residents in and around the Camas area are on alert after at least one, and possibly two, bears were seen in the area.

The first sightings took place near LaCamas Park and since then, the Camas School District has suspended some school activities, including a cross-country race near Round Lake.

Camas coach Mike Hickey said his team was warming up for a meet on Sept. 25 when they came upon a bear that was about 3 feet tall, the Columbian reported.

District officials said they were taking no chances on students’ safety.

Wildlife officials told The Columbian newspaper that they have received reports of bears in different areas at about the same time, leading them to speculate that there may be more than one bear in the area.

KATU viewer Zach Gaug said he saw a bear around noon on Saturday running around his yard.

"The bear ran to the back of our property and plopped down on some small logs to rest, scratch and to roll around," he said. "After a few minutes he stood up on his hind legs to look over a blackberry patch to check out the neighbor's chickens, which often run loose."

Gaug last saw the bear walking down a path towards LaCamas Lake.

Craig Bartlett, spokesman for the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, told The Columbian the a young bear may be looking for food in the area ahead of winter hibernation.

We found people out for morning walks at LaCamas Park on Thursday morning. The bear sightings were the talk of the park.

"It got kind of exciting because there's a bear here," said Dorothy Cormack, who was out walking with a group called the Osprey Walking Group. "But I don't think anybody in the group has seen the bear."

Jack Grigsby took a rather holistic view of the bear story.

"You gotta look at it this way," he said, "they were here a lot longer than we've been here and we're invading their home."

KATU reporter Lincoln Graves contributed to this report