Vancouver free of bears since Wednesday rescue

By Mark Bowder, Columbian assistant metro editor

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The spate of bear sightings in recent days seems to have passed — for now, at least.

Capt. Murray Schlenker of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said he remains convinced the black bear rescued from a tree Wednesday near the intersection of East Mill Plain Boulevard and Fort Vancouver Way was the same one that visited the backyard of a Fisher’s Landing home Sunday.

Over the past day and a half, Schlenker said he’s received inquiries about what one person thought were bear droppings and another from a person wanting to know if there have been any sightings in Hockinson. As to the latter question, the answer is no.

There were reports Thursday of a bear being captured in Castle Rock. And while urban Clark County seems bear-free at the moment, it’s not clear how long that will last. The summer berries that are a staple of a bear’s diet have yet to ripen, forcing bears out of the woods to search for something to eat.

Schlenker said the bear spotted throughout Vancouver before being captured Wednesday was lost and looking for a way out of town. After a two-hour respite in a fir tree, the bear was captured and escorted back to the forest.