Seaside High School placed on ‘secure status’ due to bear sighting
SEASIDE Ore. (KPTV) - Seaside High School recently had a close-up interaction with some wildlife as the campus was placed on secure status Tuesday morning following a bear sighting.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” Zoe Manhier, who has a student attending the school, said. “I was more sad. Maybe we’re cutting down too much of their habitat, and so the bears are getting a little closer towards civilization because we’re kind of infringing on their space.”
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Kalee, who also has a student at the school, agreed. “They keep taking away their habitat. They’ve got nowhere to go.”
Tuesday morning, the Seaside High School campus was placed on secure status, which means the outside doors were locked with staff and students remaining inside.
Kalee got a message from her daughter, “saying there’s a bear on the property and the school is on lockdown.”
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed the sighting and said the bear did not display any aggressive behavior. They said it was by a patch of blackberries and fled shortly after it was spotted.
A teacher told FOX 12 that she believes it was an eighth grader who spotted the bear.
Many parents of students in the school district weren’t surprised to hear about, attributing that to their surroundings.
“You’re in their habitat,” Kalee explained, “it’s not surprising at all. Just stay away from the bear. They’re more scared of you.”
Manhier was impressed with the school district keeping them in the loop for the strange encounter by quickly relaying texts and emails concerning what was taking place.
“They did an immediate response, and I felt like the school had it handled,” she said.
ODFW said to prevent conflict with bears, follow these tips:
- Never feed or approach bears.
- Feed pets and store pet food indoors. Clean and store grills after each use. Feeding bears, intentionally or unintentionally, will cause them to associate humans with food. It is also against the law in Oregon (ORS 496.730).
- Secure food, garbage and recycling.
- Please ensure that your trash and dumpsters are secure from bears through use of locking or screw-on lids, metal bars over dumpsters, or fully enclosed trash storage. Food waste is one of the strongest attractants for black bears.
- Remove bird feeders when bears are active.
- Bears will commonly feed from and destroy birdfeeders.
- Alert neighbors and ODFW to unusual bear activity (continued sightings during daylight hours, lack of wariness around humans or pets, etc.).
- A community effort is vital to prevent problems with bears.
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