Bear spotted in Gig Harbor neighborhood

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GIG HARBOR — Norman Lykken was in his hot tub with a friend at his home on 86th Street Northwest when he spotted a black bear last month.

Lykken said it was about 7:30 p.m. June 16 when the bear made its way into his backyard.

"I just got in (the hot tub) and looked around and saw the biggest black bear," he said.

The bear was about 4 feet tall and about 10 to 12 feet away, Lykken said.

"It was kind of pretty in a way," he said.

Lykken said the bear never approached them, but it paced back and forth. The bear did not go through any garbage or personal belongings and eventually walked away without causing any harm. Lykken and his friend stayed in the hot tub during the sighting.

Lykken hosted a get-together at his home that afternoon, and he decided to leave out leftover summer sausage for squirrels. He said he often feeds critters in his yard.

"I have a bird feeder, and I feed the squirrels" he said, adding he usually feeds squirrels sunflower seeds.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife suggests to take down bird feeders and not to feed wild animals because they both can attract bears. Lykken still feeds the animals but hasn't left out any raw foods since he saw the bear.

"I won't do that again," he said.

Lykken said he's previously found bear paw prints in his yard.

"Bears have torn down bird feeders" earlier in the spring, Lykken said.