Elusive and ‘unnaturally large’ black bear found on Eastside

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife found and euthanized an “unnaturally large” black bear it had been working to track down for more than two years.

Wildlife officials had been looking for the bear for its own safety and for the sake of those living near Cougar Mountain and Squak Mountain, which is where it was found.

Chase Gunnell with WDFW said the bear was two to three sizes larger than the average 200-pound black bear and was elusive.

It reportedly had gotten portly and weighed 350 pounds, causing concern.

The bear was reportedly roaming through neighborhoods and backyards. It was feeding on garbage and getting into bird feeders, which is what officials didn’t want.

The bear had also been fitted with a GPS tracker in 2018, but the tracker had gone silent, which is the second reason officials were looking for the animal.

Gunnell said the collar was designed to break off after a period of time but that did not happen.

Wildlife officials euthanized the animal because it had become dependent on human food.

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