Arlington asks for help to keep food from bear

ARLINGTON — City officials and state Fish and Wildlife experts are asking people in Arlington to put away garbage, pet food and bird seed that might be enticing a black bear seen in the Crown Ridge neighborhood early Thursday.

“We want to encourage the bear to return to its natural habitat,” city spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said.

A bear spotted near Pioneer Elementary School on Tuesday afternoon forced officials to place the school in partial lockdown.

Sgt. Randy Lambert with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking homeowners in the area to secure bird feeders and garbage cans and bring in the pet food, Banfield said.

If the bear continues to come back after all food sources have been eliminated for at least two days, Fish and Wildlife agents will consider trapping the bear, she said.

People in the Crown Ridge and Gleneagle neighborhoods are asked to assist with the cleanup and removal of food sources.

“The bear is hanging around in the ravine behind Arlington High School. This wooded area extends all the way down to 204th Street NE,” Banfield said. “The bear is hungry and looking for food.”

Schools in the area are not locked down, but staff and students are aware of the bear, she said.

“We wish this little Smokey Bear would hunker down somewhere and stay put,” Banfield said. “We prefer not to trap it, and we hope it moves along and finds its own food.”

Questions about the bear can be directed to Lambert at 425-501-3530.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

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