We’ve had several people from in and around Salem sent us reports — and even photos — of bears in their backyard. Here’s the creepiest one yet. Judy Bates sends us this photo she shot in May at her home in the Laurel Woods community near Hanging Rock — that’s a bear clawing at the window in the middle of the night.
Judy tells us: “Beautiful, but a bit close for comfort. We have several bears that are evident multiple times a week in our yards, to the point of making us fearful of going out to walk pets, etc. We really don’t know what to do or what recourse we have in view of DGIF’s [Department of Game and Inland Fisheries] hardline stance that we live in bear territory and that they will not declare these bears nuisance bears.”
She goes on to say: “DGIF came out and advised us to take in all bird feeders (which we did) and to put locks on our trash cans (which we did.) They assured us that if we did those things the bear(s) would go back up into the woods and leave us alone . . . Just last week, my locked trash can was turned over in my driveway and bears (oops) the bear’s claw marks. Night before last a neighbor up the street called me to say a huge bear was within 5 feet of her front door. A huge one awakened another neighbor a few weeks pushing against the French doors of his bedroom -within feet of his bed.“I have a blind dog that I must walk and be outside with on a leash numerous times a day and feel extremely fearful each time we are out – some of which times require being out late at night. I have lived here for almost 30 years and this problem has existed for the past 3 or so years – and has escalated tremendously this spring, with DGIF having a most strange attitude – as though we have trespassed.”
We’ve added Judy’s sighting to our map of bear sightings. This comes on the heels of several other bear sightings around Salem we’ve had lately.
On July 18, Sherri Parrish told us about a bear she saw in Salem proper near the intersection of Franklin and Upland.
On July 14, we posted an entire photo gallery of the bear that raided the bird feeder in Loyd Tingler’s backyard off Wildwood Road.
Then on July 15, Jerry and Linda Watts sent us a photo of the bear that wandered into their backyard on Sagewood Circle off 311.
So have you seen a bear in or around Salem lately? If so, let us know at email@example.com — and if you have photos, send those on, too.