Our troop does a number of backpacking outings in the Cascades. We are always careful to leave no food or refuse in or near tents overnight and use bear cans or bear hangs instead. This practice makes the food inaccessible to the bear and keeps food away from the campsite. Over the years, we have never (knowingly) had a bear visit our campsite on the trail. Possibly because of our good practices or maybe just good luck!
So much to my surprise when my family woke this morning at home to find a large adult bear sitting on our deck, with two cubs in our tree! See the photos. Over the years, we have seen raccoons, deer, coyotes, even bobcats in our backyardbut never a bear until now. We are in the Demery Hill section of Sammamish, near the shopping center, so not exactly on the outskirts of the city. We do have bird feeders on our deck and a recently used grill, which possibly attracted the bears. Of course, there is food in the house but otherwise nothing else outside.
The adult bear stayed to watch her two cubs climb down from the tree, and the three wandered into the wooded area behind our house. No drama but we knew of course to stay inside. Anything could agitate the presumed mama bear into a protective move for her cubs. We called neighbors to ensure they knew about the bears on our street.
Related to this, the Woodland Park Zoo staged a mock campsite inside their bear facility. Not something you would want to see on the trail.
The warm weather is here, and animals are out looking for food. So, please keep an eye out on your kids, pets, and yourself!