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Black bear seen near Lithia Park bandshell

 Posted: 11:55 AM February 20, 2014

A black bear was sighted near the Butler Bandshell restrooms in Lithia Park earlier today, the Ashland Parks & Recreation Department reported.

Department officials said people in the area should keep an eye out, but that bear attacks are uncommon as the animals will typically avoid humans.

If you encounter a bear while on a park trail, give it room to escape by stepping off the trail and walking away slowly. If bear cubs are seen, leave the area immediately. Those who do encounter bears should not make sudden movements and should back away slowly, facing the bear but not making direct eye contact. If the bear stands on its hind legs, it is detecting scents, not necessarily behaving aggressively.

In the rare event of an attack, parks department officials say to fight back. Shout and be aggressive.

Call 541-488-5340 for more information.

— Ryan Pfeil

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