Oregon State Police and Gresham officers are trying to locate a black bear found ambling around the city this afternoon.
On Thursday around 2:20 pm, officers responded to a bear sighting near Northeast 16th Court, a residential area that is conveniently close to Gresham's Black Bear Diner. The Oregonian first reported the news.
Officers attempted to contain the bear and scare the animal up a tree until the state police's Fish and Wildlife Division arrived with traps and tranquilizers.
The bear was able to escape through the police perimeter, however. It was last seen near Northeast Glisan Street and 242nd Avenue, and is suspected to be at large in a commercial area with plentiful green space. Currently, Gresham police are attempting to locate the bear with a drone.
At one point, as many as 24 officers were on the scene, but now that the bear is no longer in a residential area, that number has been reduced to only a few.
Officer Kevin Carlson says when he has seen the bear, it hasn't been doing much.
"Both times I saw it, it was running from us," he tells WW. "Just kind of meandering around town and jumping into people's yards and over fences."
Local authorities are unsure where the bear came from or how it got to Gresham. Though the police chase began this afternoon, the black furry critter was also spotted late last night near Red Sunset Park.
"The bear was left alone at that time because there were relatively no people out at that hour," says Carlson. "But then it reappeared this afternoon with a lot of people out and about in the area, so it became more of a public safety risk."
Though the whereabouts of the ursine interloper are currently unknown, police are not restricting traffic.
"If there's a caution to the public, it would just be no unnecessary trips outside," says Carlson. "Just be careful near trees and bushes in your residential area, and keep your pets inside until it's captured."
That shouldn't be too hard, considering that's what we're already supposed to be doing—minus, of course, avoiding trees and bushes that could contain predators.