Bear sighting in South Eugene

Bear sighting in South Eugene

EUGENE, Ore. -- People living in a south Eugene neighborhood say a black bear has been going through their yards.

Annie Agah lives off Gimple Hill Road. She sent KVAL News pictures of the bear going through her yard. She said the bear chewed up her bird feeder and stuck around for two hours. That was Saturday.

A few days earlier the bear visited Becky Perdew's house just up the road. She said she woke up to the bear going through her garbage a few days ago.

"All of a sudden about 3:30 a.m. I heard a crash because the trash can is right on the other side of the wall," Perdew said.

Perdew grabbed her spotlight and went outside to see what made the noise.

"Right in front of me was the bear, just chilling there eating some garbage," Perdew said. "He didn't run away or anything. He was a cinnamon brown. And I said, 'Oh my God, there's a bear.'"

Perdew ran inside and woke her mom up.

"It was pretty exciting," Suzanne Dassenko said.

The bear tore apart their garbage and left a trail of egg cartons and plastic bags behind. The bear came back a few days later -- this time, to their neighbor's house.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reports bears are not generally dangerous to people, but they like to dig through trash cans for food. Once a bear finds an easy food source then the bear is likely to go back for more.

Officials advise people keep garbage inside the garage until pick-up day. If a bear gets into your garbage, clean the cans with bleach. If the bear encroachment gets too much, you could put electric fences around your property, fruit trees and compost piles.

Dassenko said she isn't worried about the recent visitor. It's just part of living in the country.

"This is their home too," Dassenko said.

If you do encounter a bear, Fish and Wildlife recommends staying calm. Stop and back away slowly. Give the bear room to escape. Speak softly. This may reassure the bear that you aren't trying to harm it. If a bear stands up, it may be trying to detect smells in the air and not show aggression.

Pictures of the bear