Small Bear Scare on Central Oregon Coast Campground
Photos by Jo Leach
(Waldport, Oregon) – A campground on the central Oregon coast got a bit of a bear scare in the middle of the night last week, with the thieving beast rummaging around in someone's trash and making off with a chunk of food. No one was injured in the ruckus, only a a little shaken.
Bill and Betsy Spence, two of the managers for the Tillicum Campground between Waldport and Yachats, were jolted awake around 3:30 a.m. on September 18 when a camper approached Bill and said a bear had bumped into his trailer.
Jo Leach, one of the other managers for the campground, heard about the story the next morning as she saw Bill cleaning up a lot of garbage debris left around the campsite by the furry felon.
“He didn't know it was a bear at the time,” Leach said. “But when he got up he saw the garbage can and bear scat in the campsite.”
Upon hearing about the incident, Leach decided to try and track where the bear had been. She did indeed discover some, as well as bear droppings. More of the photos are at the Pampering Campers blog.
“I took my camera to the beach to find tracks,” Leach said. “I was just curious where he came into the campground. I did find tracks up by the creek, north of the campground. I'm guessing he came down the creek because I didn't see any tracks on the other side of it. Then he walked up into the woods nearby.”
Leach couldn't tell where the bear went after the food stealing incident.
Doug Cottam, a wildlife biologist with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said there are many bears wandering that area around Waldport and Yachats, but his office hasn't received any complaints about bears from there in recent months.
Cottam said they often go in search of food that's easily accessible from residential garbage cans.
Signs are posted in these campgrounds and along the neighborhood streets on many rural sections of the central Oregon coast regarding bears and how you should keep your garbage locked up.
Leach and the other managers at Tillicum – who also manage other campgrounds around the Florence and Yachats area – urge campers to adhere to these rules as well, to keep bear encounters to a minimum.
Bears are also not uncommon in the woods above Cannon Beach and in the coast range.
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