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Bear sighted in Medford not a threat, police say

A car reportedly struck a bear in a Medford neighborhood at about 7:15 Tuesday morning, but when police went looking for it, they couldn’t find it, according to a post on the Medford police Facebook page.

Police said they got a report that a vehicle struck a bear in the area of Holly and Ogara streets, and the animal “ran off.” The post asked residents to “use extra caution if you’re in this area” and gave people tips on what to do if they see a bear.

“Unless it’s some kind of a threat, we just leave (bears) be,” said Medford police Lt. Mark Cromwell. “We just checked the area ... and once we determined that it wasn’t an issue, we cleared off and made our notifications to ODFW (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife).”

The bear sighting prompted security protocols at nearby Jefferson Elementary School.

“Out of an abundance of caution (because of the bear sighting), staff stood outside the school, ushering students quickly and safely into the school during student drop-off,” said Danielle Craig, communications specialist for the Medford School District.

Reach reporter Kevin Opsahl at 541-776-4476 or kopsahl@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevJourno.