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Black bear sighted near Jacksonville

A black bear. Associated Press file photo

The Jacksonville Police Department warned Saturday that a large black bear was sighted just before 10:30 a.m. on South Third Street near Daisy Creek Road and that the animal might have been making its way toward the town.

JPD Officer Alex Oh was flagged down by a person who wanted to report what they had seen: a black bear described as weighing about 400 pounds, authorities stated in a press release.

The release stated that the officer went to that location but was unable to locate the bear. Other people told the officer that they also saw the bear. They described it as “afraid of people” and possibly had been traveling toward Jacksonville, the release stated.

People are urged to dial 911 if they are in a situation that is of immediate threat to human health and safety. The Jacksonville Police Department asks people who notice bear activity in Jacksonville — and are not in danger — to call the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at 541-826-8774.

Jacksonville police also provided information about bear safety from ODFW:

If you encounter a bear:

Stop: Never approach a bear at any time for any reason. If you see bear cubs, leave the area.

Give it space: Give any bear you encounter a way to escape.

Stay calm: Do not run or make sudden movements. Face the bear and slowly back away.

Avoid eye contact: Don’t make eye contact with the bear.

Don’t run: It may encourage the bear to chase you.

Fight back: In the unlikely event you are attacked, fight back, shout, be aggressive, use rocks, sticks and hands.

How to prevent bears from getting food within the city (so they don’t find it rewarding to visit):

Never feed bears

Only put out garbage cans just before pickup

Keep pet food inside

Remove bird feeders

Keep barbecue grills clean or inside a garage

Clean up fallen fruit under fruit trees