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Two bears killed in two days

Numerous bear reports have been posted in the region this week

A wave of bear sightings have been reported across Southern Oregon this week, including two bears that were killed in the past two days — one hit by a car near Ashland on Interstate 5 and one shot by Medford police in a west Medford neighborhood near a private school.

Medford police killed a bear that was near a backyard fence “very close to Sacred Heart School” on South Holly Street about 6 a.m. Wednesday, according to police.

“Relocating it was not an option,” police said in a Facebook post.

A witness reported to dispatchers that they’d struck a bear with a vehicle about 7:15 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of South Holly and Ogara streets, according to an earlier news report, but the animal ran off.

Later Tuesday morning, a bear was struck and killed on Interstate 5 near Exit 19. The bear was a male weighing approximately 450 pounds, according to Oregon State Police Capt. Stephanie Bigham.

Ashland police issued an alert Tuesday evening after two bear cubs were spotted seemingly separated from their mother in the area of Tolman Creek Road and Ashland Street near the Ashland Family YMCA.

The police department advised people to avoid the animals, based on guidance from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and OSP Fish and Game troopers.

Late Wednesday morning, Ashland police Chief Tighe O’Meara said his department hadn’t received any further calls about the bear cubs, and the animals were believed to have moved along.

Witnesses called Medford police Wednesday afternoon to say they had spotted a bear in a tree in the area of Spring Street.

According to Medford police Lt. Mark Cromwell, officers were dispatched to the area, but were not able to locate the animal.

The police department advises that anyone who encounters a bear should make loud noises, but don’t run or make sudden movements. And in the rare event of an attack, aggressively throw tools, sticks or other objects.