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Injured black bear could be in south Vernonia area

May 19, 2011

SALEM, Ore.--Oregon State Police and ODFW are notifying residents near the Banks-Vernonia Linear Trail that there could be an injured black bear in the area.

A black bear was hit by a truck on Highway 47 near Milepost 65. Two people saw that it was injured (limping and bleeding) before it ran into the brush onto the Banks-Vernonia Linear Trail.

An OSP trooper flagged down on Hwy 47 pursued the bear but eventually lost sight of it.

ODFW and OSP have searched the area but found no sign of the bear (blood or tracks). The bear may never return. However, they are notifying residents within the area, which is the south side of Vernonia, several miles out of the city limits.

“An injured bear could be dangerous,” said Don Vandebergh, ODFW district wildlife biologist. “Be cautious and if you see the bear, contact OSP or local law enforcement immediately.”

Black bear attacks on humans are rare. But, if you encounter a bear:

  • Give the bear a way to escape.
  • Stay calm, do not run or make sudden movements.
  • Face the bear and back away slowly.
  • Avoid direct eye contact with the bear.
  • Talk to the bear in a firm voice to let it know you are a human.
  • Fight back if attacked. Shout, use rocks, sticks and hands to fend off an attack.  

A small section of the Banks-Vernonia Linear Trail is temporarily closed.

More information on living with black bears:



OSP, Sgt. Tim Schwartz, (503) 791-5249
ODFW, Michelle Dennehy, (503) 931-2748

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