Officials at The Evergreen State College in Olympia issued a warning to students and staff members Tuesday following reports of a black bear on campus, and in the surrounding neighborhood.
The warning stated: “Caution! Over the past few days, Police Services has received reports of a large black bear in the area. The first sighting was near Parking Lot F. The second sighting was near the intersection of Driftwood Road and Overhulse Place. Please do not approach the bear. Go to a safe location and contact Police Services immediately.”
College officials recommend that people stay away from the forested areas of the campus until the issue is resolved.
The bear hasn’t made contact with humans, and college officials are monitoring the situation with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office and the state Department of Fish & Wildlife, according to Evergreen spokeswoman Sandra Kaiser.
Right now the goal is to make students, staff and nearby residents aware of the bear’s presence on the 1,000-acre campus and adjoining woodlands, and advise them not to approach or feed the animal, she said.
There are ways to reduce chances of contact with the animal, as well, Kaiser said.
“Everybody should secure garbage, as well as outside grills and bird feeders,” she added.
Anyone who spots the bear should call 360-867-6832.