Fish and Wildlife works numerous bear sighting calls everyday

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SAMMAMISH — It’s that season, bears are awake and hungry so there is a good possibility you could see one in your own neighborhood.  Bear sightings are so common, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says they are working up to eight calls every day and that’s just in King County.

We see them claw up tall trees, bears in their element but when they stray into schools and yards things get scary.

“I saw a bear walking right there,” said Sammamish resident Kristel Hoebers.

Just two days ago a bear took a stroll through Kristel’s Sammamish neighborhood.

blackbear“It was not a dog it was walking too slowly for that,” said Kristel

Bears are looking for one thing, food, and the first object they attack is your garbage.

“Fifteen garbage cans in a row is a virtual smorgasbord for a hungry bear they can smell that from miles away,” said Fish and Wildlife official Kim Chandler.

That’s why Kristel keeps her cans inside, right up until the trucks come to pick it up.

“It just takes one neighbor to mess the whole thing up by not following the rules by not taking down their bird feeders birds don’t really need to be fed in the summer time,” said Chandler.

And if you are hanging at a park or camping with food, bears can smell that too.

“Hang your food way up in the tree if you are away from your vehicle, if you have a vehicle keep it in your car,” said Chandler.

Chandler has been mapping out the hotspots in King County. It’s widespread but bears have been especially busy in neighborhoods in  Redmond, Issaquah, Woodinville and Sammamish.

“I think it’s kind of scary having two kids playing outside in the wooded area,” said Kristel.

This season so far bear activity has closed down popular sites.

Tumwater Campground on the upper Stehekin Valley Road has been shut down for at least the next two weeks because of bear activity.

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