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News / Life / Clark County Life

Habitat loss brings bears, cougars closer to suburbs, cities in Southwest Washington

WDFW conflict specialist Todd Jacobsen: “More people are building more houses in what’s always been natural habitat.”

By Scott Hewitt, Columbian staff writer
Published: April 30, 2023, 6:04am
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13 Photos
The bear, caught in East Vancouver, was released in remote woods and also hazed with loud noise and rubber buckshot -- an attempt to scare it away from humans permanently -- by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife conflict specialists.
The bear, caught in East Vancouver, was released in remote woods and also hazed with loud noise and rubber buckshot -- an attempt to scare it away from humans permanently -- by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife conflict specialists. (Contributed by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) Photo Gallery

This is the time of year when Clark County starts receiving visits from huge bellies on hairy legs.

“Giant walking stomachs” is how black bears emerging from hibernation behave, said Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife conflict specialist Todd Jacobsen.

Based in the tiny town of Klickitat, Jacobsen takes calls for help from all over a sprawling swath of Southwest Washington, including Clark, Skamania and Klickitat counties.

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