It’s camping season. Whether you are at a designated campground or picnic area (see what recreation sites are open on DNR-managed state trust lands) or enjoying dispersed recreation on state trust lands, please be bear-wise. Use common sense when you are in bear country. Here are do’s and don’ts to follow from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. They can keep you safe — and the bears, too.
Each year, Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle makes the point about being smart in bear country by allowing a couple of its grizzly bears to munch their way through a mock campsite. The 17-year-old brothers, Keema and Denali, weighing in at 730 pounds each, forage through an exhibit staged with camping gear, pots and pans, coolers, and an assortment of scattered food items, as well as a bear-proof food container or two (see photo). See a video of a previous campsite demo.
Grizzlies are getting pretty rare in Washington State but the smaller black bears are quite numerous. Bears normally avoid people. Most human-bear encounters could be avoided if people would stop feeding wildlife, either on purpose or by allowing bears access to garbage or other food sources.
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