NOVATO – Police in Novato have issued a warning for residents after a mother bear and two cubs were reported near a park this weekend.
According to officers, the bears were seen in the vicinity of Miwok Park on Sunday. Officers found bear poop at the entrance to the park’s playground on the San Miguel Way side.
“Novato Police are advising the community to exercise extreme caution when entering the area, especially in areas that are wooded or contain a lot of bushes,” the police said in a statement posted Sunday evening.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says that while bears are generally fearful of humans and aggressive behavior is rare, a bear will be defensive when protecting their cubs, protecting a food source, or if startled.
Stressing that bear sightings are rare in Novato and Marin County, police issued several tips in case a bear is encountered:
• DO NOT approach a bear if seen, especially if it is eating or has offspring. Most bears will try to avoid confrontations.
• DO NOT RUN. Back away slowly and don’t turn your back on the bear.
• DO NOT LIE AND PLAY DEAD. Fight back if attacked.
• Avoid walking or jogging through wooded areas where bears are most active – dawn, dusk or at night.
• Always leave an escape route for the bear.
• Keep a close eye on small children when walking or traveling in or over wooded areas.
• Make noise and try to look taller by waving your arms; throw stones or other objects; pick up small children.
Anyone who sees a bear in the area is asked to call 112 immediately.
Additional tips on bears can be found on the Department of Fish and Wildlife website.
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