WSP Bears Notice of Black Bear Highway Deaths Barely a Day Apart
We've got some information to pass on from the Washington State Patrol about some Bad News Bears.
WSP Trooper Bryant, whose WSP District 6 covers Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Kittitas, and Okanogan counties, said the two incidents, barely a day apart, began on Monday afternoon when a Lexus sedan eastbound on Highway 2 struck a bear around milepost 87 outside of Leavenworth and then Tuesday morning a westbound Lincoln Navigator collided with a bear on State Route 20 near milepost 227 outside of Okanogan.
The Lexus crash happened in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The driver was fine but the animal was not; the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife euthanized the bear, according to WSP.
“The bear on SR20 was knocked down but eventually got up and walked away,” Bryant said, but later, Fish and Wildlife officials found the injured bear down by a guard rail, barely able to move, before choosing to put it down.
Neither driver was injured, but both of their rigs had to be towed.
If you find yourself in Washington's great outdoors this summer, here's what you need to know to stay safe, the bare (bear) necessities if you will, first and foremost, one has to be 'bear aware'.
- DO NOT RUN.
- Remain calm.
- Group together and pick up small children.
- Continue to face the bear and back away slowly, talking calmly to identify yourself as a human.
- If the bear continues to approach, try to scare it away by making yourself as large and imposing as possible by stretching your arms overhead and making loud noises.
- Carry and know how to use bear spray, which is available at many outdoor retailers and can be used to deter a charging bear.
Grin and bear it while listening to the Barenaked Ladies with Bear Grylls at the Grizzly Bar in Pasco.