A Fish and Wildlife officer looks at the tree line where the bear retreated Wednesday, June 8, 2023 in Everett, Washington. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife respond to number of calls involving black bears each year. (Photo provided by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

Injured bear in Silver Firs wanders to Safeway, retreats to woods

The bear was apparently hit by a car, according to state Fish and Wildlife. It was seen Wednesday in neighborhoods near Mill Creek.

EVERETT — A black bear roaming into yards in the Silver Firs area Wednesday retreated into a heavily wooded area, where he’s expected to stay while recovering from an injury, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Authorities believe the bear was hit by a car in the past few weeks, and Fish and Wildlife officers have been working to track it. He had a noticeable wound in his shoulder area, as captured by footage of the bear walking around neighborhoods in northern Mill Creek.

The black bear was only active in the middle of the day because of the injury and appeared to be looking for a place to heal, Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Chase Gunnell said.

Snohomish County Parks and Recreation notified fish and wildlife officers that the bear was spotted around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday at Willis Tucker Park in Snohomish, Gunnell said.

Around 11 a.m., the bear was seen in the Safeway parking lot at 134th and Puget Park, South County Fire spokesperson Leslie Hynes said.

The bear was seen crossing the busy intersection of 134th place SE, Gunnell said. It likely got scared from traffic, construction and TV camera crews, and escaped into a greenbelt north of the area, according to the department.

Black bears are common in the Cascade Range, and occasionally they wander into the populated lowlands around Puget Sound. The state estimates 25,000 to 30,000 black bears live in Washington.

Signage provided by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. (Photo provided by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

This bear was also likely sighted in unincorporated Snohomish County near Cathcart on Wednesday, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

“We believe the bear lives here,” the sheriff’s office said in a tweet.

If you see a black bear, stay calm. Do not run. Back away slowly. Bears are not usually a threat. If the bear becomes too curious or aggressive, you can wave your arms, yell and as a last resort, fight back.

The only fatal black bear attack on a human in Washington was reported in 1974. Since 1970, there have been 19 documented other human-black bear encounters that resulted in an injury, according to Fish and Wildlife.

Sightings can be reported to 425-775-1311. You can learn about bear encounters at wdfw.wa.gov/living/bears.html.

Jonathan Tall: 425-339-3486; jonathan.tall@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @EDHJonTall.

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