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Bear and Cub Scare on N. Oregon Coast: Seaside School Locked Down - But Picnic Baskets Safe

Published 09/13/23 at 10:27 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Bear and Cub Scare on N. Oregon Coast: Seaside School Locked Down - But Picnic Baskets Safe

(Seaside, Oregon) – The whole thing makes you want to think of Yogi and Boo Boo, or at least chuckle a bit. Were they looking for a beach picnic basket? Yet a mama bear and her cub can definitely pose a threat that is not funny. (Photo ODFW)

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No "pic-a-nic baskets" were raided, but Seaside Police Department sent out emergency alerts Tuesday that a mama bear and her cub were seen near the north Oregon coast town's high school and middle school campus, shutting both down for a time.

At 9:42 a.m. the department sent out the message:

“Seaside School Campuses are currently in a Secure State due to bear and cub sightings near the schools. There is not a safety threat, and students are secure. Please avoid the area while the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife along with Seaside Police Department secure the area.”

No warnings were issued for any beach areas, and a bear and her cub would not wind up wandering into a heavily-trafficked area like downtown Seaside or the nearby suburbs during the day. The school area is almost a mile east of Highway 101.

Authorities and wildlife experts from the Oregon coast worked for three hours to make sure the area was safe but found nothing.

By 1 p.m. the lockdown was over. School officials did cancel all outdoor after-school activities that day, however, but classes and bus pick-ups went on as normal.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) warns bear attacks are at a higher risk when a bear cub is present. This is when Oregon coast's black bear population gets the most dangerous.

Bear tracks are sometimes found on the beaches, such as this shot from Oregon State Parks at Whaleshead Beach a few years back. This indicates they sometimes venture out onto the sands at night.

Among the warnings from ODFW:

“Never pick up a bear cub ― its mother has left it there and will return.”

“ If you see a bear, leave the area. Stay far away from cubs - mother is nearby. Leash dogs. A loose dog may lead a bear back to you.”

Interestingly, Oregon has no more grizzly bears, although they were native to the area. They were killed off by the 1930s. All bears in the state and those along the Oregon coast are black bears.

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The full shot from Oregon State Parks

Bears raided Seal Rock garbage cans in recent years

Bear tracks in Waldport - photo Jo Leach

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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