While bear sightings aren’t necessarily rare, they aren’t always in the parking lot of an elementary school either.
A bear was spotted walking on Thursday morning, May 30, in the parking lot of Cedar River Elementary School before classses started, a Facebook post from the Tahoma School District states.
Cedar River Elementary School and Shadow Lake Elementary school kept students and staff indoors with the doors locked, the district reported.
The bear eventually moved along to Maple Valley Church, which is next door to Cedar River Elementary, but police were called and reported to the scene.
The district said the officer sounded a siren to scare the bear away from the schools.
The school also posted safety tips on what to do if you see a bear.
The district states it pulled this information from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
•Stop, remain calm and assess the situation. If the bear seems unaware of you, move away quietly when it’s not looking in your direction. Continue to observe the animal as you retreat, watching for changes in its behavior.
•If a bear walks toward you, identify yourself as a human by standing up, waving your hands above your head and talking to the bear in a low voice.
•Don’t throw anything at the bear. The the bear could interpret that as a threat or a challenge.
•If you cannot safely move away from the bear or the bear continues toward you, scare it away by clapping your hands, stomping your feet, yelling and staring the animal in the eyes. If you are in a group, stand shoulder-to shoulder and raise and wave your arms to appear intimidating. The more it persists the more aggressive your response should be. If you have bear spray, use it.
•Do not run from the bear. Bears can run up to 35 mph and running may trigger an attack. Climbing a tree is generally not recommended as an escape from an aggressive black bear, as black bears are adept climbers and may follow you up a tree.