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News Release
photo of bear
photo of bear
Bear Killed Near Sunriver as Threat to Public Safety (Photo) - 07/08/19

Released by: Sgt. William Bailey – Public Information Officer

Release Date: July 8, 2019


On July 7, 2019, deputies with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the area 56800 block of Gina Lane, near Sunriver, on a report of a black bear.  The property owner told dispatch he was armed and guarding his livestock from the bear.  The reporting person had attempted to scare the bear away with loud yelling and banging noises, but the bear would not leave.

This was the sixth reported bear sighting in the area over the previous 36 hours.  On July 6th at 10:02am, a caller reported a bear was blocking the hiking path near Cardinal Landing Bridge.  On July 6th at 7:18pm, a caller reported a bear had just walked by the front door of his residence on Besson Road.  On July 7th at 11:46, a caller on Besson Road reported a bear had been seen on her property the day before.  On July 7th at 4:16pm, caller reported a bear on his property on Besson Road.  On July 7th at 4:17pm another caller on Besson Road reported a bear on his property.

Deputies arrived at the Gina Lane address and located the bear in the back yard of the residential property.  The deputies attempted to scare the bear off with beanbag projectiles fired from a 12-gauge shotgun.  The bear was struck three times, but did not run off.  The bear responded by climbing a short distance up a tree, then came back down and began walking slowly southbound along the residential area.  Deputies walked with the bear to alert any residents in the bear’s path to go inside their residences.  Deputies followed the bear to Spring River Road, where it was nearly struck by a vehicle as it crossed the roadway.  As the bear continued walking south in the residential area, the deputies observed the bear exhibit signs of aggression toward them.

As the bear continued in the residential area, the deputies could hear kids playing in the direction the bear was walking, then observed four children between the ages of six and eight playing in an outdoor pool.  The deputies yelled to alert the kids and then their parents, who quickly removed the kids from the pool and escorted them inside their residence.  The deputies then observed the bear approaching a residence where an adult male was outside and up on a ladder.  The path the bear was on was going to place it in close proximity to this residence, as well as entering a more densely populated area of the subdivision. 

Based on the unsuccessful attempts by both a homeowner and deputies to scare the bear back into the forest and due its close proximity to residences and people, a deputy shot and killed to bear in the interest of public safety.  The decision to kill the bear was made only after other attempts to scare the bear back into the forest had failed and deputies feared an encounter between the bear and a person/child was imminent.

The young adult male bear, weighing approximately 96 pounds, has been turned over to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in Bend for inspection. 

A short video related to this incident can be found on the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Oregon Facebook page.

Sheriff L Shane Nelson said, “This bear was a threat to public safety and I would not allow it to have an opportunity to injure or kill a person.   This bear was seen too many times in this area and we were not going to take a risk with an encounter.”

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is a full service agency that oversees the adult jail, provides patrol, criminal investigations, civil process and search and rescue operations. Special units include SWAT, Marine Patrol, ATV Patrol, Forest Patrol, along with four K9 teams. Founded in 1916 and today lead by your duly elected Sheriff L. Shane Nelson, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office serves the nearly 190,000 residents in Deschutes County. The agency has 230 authorized and funded personnel, which includes 187 sworn employees who provide services to the 3,055 square miles of Deschutes County.

## End of Release ##

Attached Media Files: photo of bear
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