• ‘Trippy': Bear caught on camera repeatedly visiting family's yard

    By: Michael Spear

    Updated:

    KING COUNTY, Wash. - Jennifer Otis couldn’t believe her eyes.

    “Ginormous bear standing up there,” said Otis. “I, of course, was screaming to get attention and all (my daughter) saw was his butt jumping over the fence.”

     Otis said she was at her Fairwood home near Renton, with her daughter who was sick that day, when she saw the bear rip their bird feeder from a tree.

     "Huge, huge bear,” said Otis.

     Her backyard camera, mounted on a tree, was facing the opposite direction and didn’t record the bear’s first visit.

     "I thought, 'Oh my gosh, we have to move this,'” said Otis.

     The next day, March 30, the camera did capture what appeared to be same bear sniffing along the family’s fence line.

     Otis said a few days after its first visit, the bear went after a second bird feeder. She recalled her husband seeing the bear as they watched TV.

     “We were watching TV and the lights kicked on and we turn around and my husband’s like, ‘Oh my gosh the bear is right there watching,'” said Otis.

     But that wasn’t the last of the bear’s visits to the home near SE Petrovitsky Road and 140th Avenue SE.

     "We had Blackie the black bear come back every single day,” said Otis.

     Otis said the bear visited daily for nearly a week.

     “We’d wake up in the middle of the night with the motion lights going on,” said Otis. “My husband saw the shadow a few times.”

     Video from Otis’ backyard on April 3 showed the bear poking its head over the family’s fence.

     "I think it's honestly kind of cool because we have a bear!” said Jennifer’s daughter Emma Otis.

     The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said it’s that time of year when the calls about black bear sightings start to pour in as bears come out of hibernation and search for food.

     Jennifer said she called Fish and Wildlife.

     "They essentially said 'You live in bear country,'” said Otis. “Don't leave food outside, no more bird feeders."

    The family’s bird feeders are the likely reason for the bear’s repeated visits.

     "I think he was just hoping we were going to be crazy enough to put more food outside and continue to feed him,” said Otis.

    It's a first for the family in their 12 years living at the home.

     "It was little trippy, it's a little surreal,” said Otis. “There's this ginormous bear roaming around and we live in Renton, so you're not exactly prepared for that."

     

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