Bear on Campus: What to do if you see him

Watch out for bears in Ashland! (Photo courtesy of
Watch out for bears in Ashland! (Photo courtesy of

From Southern Oregon University Campus Public Safety, “On Friday, October 3rd a black bear was seen crossing the campus.”

Okay. Wait. We’ve seen deer on campus, many of them at once. But a black bear?  They can weigh up to four hundred pounds and when standing reach as high as five feet.  When this first crossed our desks at The Siskiyou we were naturally concerned.

However, wild life officials agree that a black bear does not represent any kind of danger unless you’re looking for a fight or you startle him.  There have been signs up throughout Lithia Park also warning of a black bear roaming the woods there.

It is very rare for a person to be attacked by a bear. According to the Journal of Emergency Medicine, there are about two bear attacks causing injury per year in the United States.  Still, bears can cause serious injury or death if a person is attacked, so it’s important you know the rules in dealing with a bear should you see one.

Here are the tips released by CPS:

Bears mostly only come out at dawn and dusk, so be more careful at those times.

Do not surprise bears. Make noise if you’re out and about where a bear might be.

Stay calm and avoid sudden movements.

Give the bear plenty of room and don’t try to interrupt whatever he is doing.

A standing bear is not always aggressive. He could just be getting a better view.

Detour. Do not approach the bear.

Do not give or throw food at a bear.

Call 911 if you are feeling threatened by the bear.

As always, it’s good advice to be aware of your environment. In Oregon that means noticing the wildlife around you and giving them plenty of room.