Hoquiam—A black bear has been spotted several times in recent weeks around Hoquiam and was photographed Tuesday sitting in an apple tree.
Deputy Chief Jim Maloney says the bear doesn't appear to be bothered by humans as it travels through Elton Bennett Park to different parts of the city.
The sightings have been reported to the Fish and Wildlife Department.
More information about black bears from the North American Bear Center:
The greatest misconception about black bears is that they are likely to attack people in defense of cubs. They are highly unlikely to do this. Black bear researchers often capture screaming cubs in the presence of bluff-charging mothers with no attacks.
Defense of cubs is a grizzly bear trait. About 70 percent of human deaths from grizzly bears are from mothers defending cubs, but black bear mothers have not been known to kill anyone in defense of cubs.
The American black bear is found only in North America. The population is estimated at 750,000. They live in forests as far south as Florida and northern Mexico and as far north as forests grow in Alaska and Canada. In northern Labrador, where grizzly bears no longer live, black bears range out onto open tundra where there are no trees to escape into. People are becoming more tolerant of black bears as we learn more about them. Many people are enjoying having bears live close to them where the bears were once feared and killed.
The black bear is approximately 4 to 7 feet from nose to tail, and two to three feet high at the withers. It has small eyes, rounded ears, a long snout, a large body, a short tail, and shaggy hair. It differs from grizzly bears in being smaller with a smaller shoulder hump, a furred rear instep, a less concave facial profile, smaller claws that are more tightly curved, and longer, smoother, and more tapered ears.