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Hunter kills bear recently removed from local elementary school
October 27, 2009


MEDFORD, Ore. – The 90-pound black bear that Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists tranquilized October 14 and removed from Lone Pine Elementary School returned to the Medford outskirts from its release site approximately 40 miles northeast of Klamath Falls. The bear made a 78 air mile return trip in 10 days and was harvested last weekend on a ridge above Medford, within two miles of the city limits.

Biologists planned to release the bear near Hyatt Lake but took it further east to the Interstate Unit near the Fremont National Forest to avoid hunters during the Cascade elk season and to move it a significant distance from the school. It was marked with an ear tag before being released.

“Our guidelines allow biologists to use their discretion in dealing with bears like this one found inside the Medford city limits,” said Russ Stauff, Acting Regional Manager. “Although it’s unusual for us to relocate bears, we felt this yearling bear had inadvertently wandered into town and was not displaying aggressive behavior so we chose to relocate it.”

“However, the bear obviously wanted to get back to town and food sources that are easier to find. It appeared to be headed back toward town when it was taken by a hunter less than two miles outside city limits near Hillcrest Road,” Stauff said.

ODFW euthanizes bears accustomed to humans or human foods because they will typically return to that site if relocated or become a problem in another area. Bears displaying aggressive behavior or exhibiting little or no fear of people also are euthanized for human safety reasons. Bears, such as the one found at Lone Pine Elementary that are relocated, are euthanized if they return to the area.

People can discourage bears from their property by eliminating food sources such as garbage and pet food and fencing off fruit trees. For more information on living with black bears, check the agency’s website at 

Click here for a map showing where the bear was taken.

Click here for a map showing where the bear was released.




Steve Niemela (541) 826-8778 x239
Fax: (541) 673-0372



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