Newcastle festival to honor state’s first Karelian bear dog

April 14, 2015

Newcastle’s Earth Day festival will play host to a special ceremony honoring the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife’s very first Karelian bear dog, Mishka, April 18.

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Warmer season wakes hibernating bears early

March 31, 2015

Everyone probably can agree the Seattle area had a pretty warm winter and spring kind of came early.

And with that warmer than average weather, what also came kind of early was the end of hibernation for this area’s healthy population of black bears.

Speaking last month, state Department of Fish & Wildlife Officer Jason Capelli said bears that don’t usually appear until April were already out and about in early March.

By Tami Asars Recording measurements on a tranquilized black bear near Issaquah-Hobart Road in July 2014, are (from left) Lindsay Welfeit, WSU master student/bear researcher, Brian Kertson, wildlife research scientist, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, and Jason Capelli, a Fish & Wildlife officer.

By Tami Asars
Recording measurements on a tranquilized black bear near Issaquah-Hobart Road in July 2014, are (from left) Lindsay Welfeit, WSU master student/bear researcher, Brian Kertson, wildlife research scientist, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, and Jason Capelli, a Fish & Wildlife officer.

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State’s first Karelian bear dog is retiring

March 31, 2015

Mishka, the first Karelian bear dog used to help with bears and other potentially dangerous wildlife in Washington state, is retiring after 12 years of service.

Mishka was enlisted for duty by a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist in 2003 to help resolve tense situations with bears, cougars and other wildlife.

By Rocky Spencer Mishka tracks and trees a bear in North Bend in 2005. The bear was tranquilized, tagged and released in the Cascades.

By Rocky Spencer
Mishka tracks and trees a bear in North Bend in 2005. The bear was tranquilized, tagged and released in the Cascades.

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April 1 program can teach resident humans to deal with resident bears

March 28, 2015

NEW — Noon March 28, 2015

“We’ve been getting a lot of complaints,” said Kim Chandler, a Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife enforcement officer for King County.

Warm weather has brought the area’s robust population of black bears out of hibernation early, and the Klahanie neighborhood has been the source of many of those complaints or sightings, Chandler added.

With that in mind, the department will sponsor a program to teach residents how to deal with bears.

The program is set for 7 p.m. April 1 at Challenger Middle Elementary School, 25200 S.E. Klahanie Blvd. It will include presentations by fish wildlife officers and include an appearance by a Karelian bear dog trained to deal with bears.

The presentation is free and open to the public. Learn more by calling the Mill Creek office of the Department of Fish & Wildlife at 775-1311.

 

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Editorial — Time to set goals, resolutions for 2015

December 31, 2014

It’s the time of year when people make resolutions, to decide to do better, be better.

We at The Issaquah Press have decided to make some resolutions on behalf of the city and its residents. We hope you will adopt them and keep them.

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EDITORIAL

July 29, 2014

Please don’t feed the bears, ever

 

“A fed bear is a dead bear.”

Those were true words from an expert who spoke to The Issaquah Press several years ago about the bears people were reporting in their yards and trashcans in the Issaquah area.

They are still true now. We have built our homes and businesses in their yards, and we are going to come into contact with wildlife.

We are the stewards of this land, and we have a responsibility to keep those animals (along with our neighbors) safe. That means letting animals be when we encounter them. Don’t hassle them. Don’t try to pet them. Don’t feed them.

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Not feeding bears will help animals survive

July 22, 2014

A 304-pound black bear near Issaquah-Hobart Road peers out of the large trap where he sits in a pile of straw behind bars. He pops his jaw, sways back and forth, and then explosively charges with wild fervor. He’s following his instincts for finding food.

The large bruin and at least five other bears have been repeatedly coming to a residence near Issaquah, where, for the past 13 years, the occupant has been feeding them 5-gallon buckets full of bird seed in her backyard, Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife Officer Jason Capelli said.

By Tami Asars Recording measurements on a tranquilized black bear are (from left) Lindsay Welfelt, WSU master student/bear researcher, Brian Kertson, wildlife research scientist, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Jason Capelli, a Fish and Wildlife officer.

By Tami Asars
Recording measurements on a tranquilized black bear are (from left) Lindsay Welfelt, WSU master student/bear researcher, Brian Kertson, wildlife research scientist, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Jason Capelli, a Fish and Wildlife officer.

 

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Off the Press

December 4, 2012

Use common sense to keep all critters safe

Kathleen R. Merrill
Press managing editor

It’s been an interesting and somewhat sad year regarding local wildlife.

Interesting because of some of the new critters I’ve seen at home. Sad because of several deaths in the area.

My heart continues to ache for the 15-year-old golden retriever that was killed by a cougar in the Riverbend area of North Bend in September. What a horrible way for a beloved pet to die. That dog, left outside and attacked in the middle of the night, deserved more.

Also in September, a bear was shot and killed by a Snoqualmie man. The bear was in the man’s garbage, according to police. That bear, doing what bears do, forage for food, deserved more.

Last week here in Issaquah, a bear was hit and killed on Front Street South. I’ve said for a long time that people drive far too fast in some places, especially within our cities. It doesn’t seem to me that bears are so fast that one would dart out in front of a car, but maybe that’s what happened.

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Under new state laws, residents face fines for feeding bears

November 13, 2012

Under new state laws, residents face fines for feeding bears intentionally or otherwise, such as by leaving food waste in bear-prone locations.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife reminded residents about the changes last month, as black bears start to appear more frequently in areas populated by humans.

“This is the time of year when bears are looking to build up as much fat as possible to get through winter,” Mike Cenci, deputy Department of Fish and Wildlife police chief, said in a statement. “Putting food scraps out for them or leaving garbage cans or pet food exposed is an open invitation for them to pay you and your neighbors a visit.”

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Under new state laws, residents face fines for feeding bears

October 22, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 22, 2012

Under new state laws, residents face fines for feeding bears intentionally or otherwise, such as by leaving food waste in bear-prone locations.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife reminded residents about the changes Oct. 19, as black bears start to appear more frequently in areas populated by humans.

“This is the time of year when bears are looking to build up as much fat as possible to get through winter,” said Mike Cenci, deputy Department of Fish and Wildlife police chief, said in a statement. “Putting food scraps out for them or leaving garbage cans or pet food exposed is an open invitation for them to pay you and your neighbors a visit.”

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