MOUNT VERNON — Once again this summer, a black bear has been spotted roaming Mount Vernon.
About 8:30 a.m. Friday, the Mount Vernon Police Department responded to a report of a black bear in the 1200 block of North LaVenture Road, near LaVenture Middle School, Lt. Mike Moore said in a news release.
Other reports had the bear heading east on the nearby Kulshan Trail, Moore said.
In conjunction with the Mount Vernon School District, the department worked to ensure the safety of those near the school, including students walking to school to begin their day, Moore said. Those efforts included the school district providing alternate transportation, Moore said.
A Skagit County Sheriff’s Office deputy, aided by the department’s drone unit, assisted in the search.
The bear was contained in the area of North 30th Street and the trail, Moore said.
State Department of Fish & Wildlife officers responded to the scene in an attempt to catch the bear, but the bear escaped through a culvert, Moore said.
The bear was then seen near Waugh Road and Seneca Drive, Moore said, prompting Fish & Wildlife officers to set a trap in the area.
Additional sightings of the bear were reported in the 4000 block of East Division Street, he said.
“I think he is moving east, which is good because then he’ll be more where bears should be,” said Fish & Wildlife officer John Ludwig.
He said this is a different bear than the island-hopping bear seen in the area in June. That bear, which was larger and had different markings, spent time in a tree in the Home Deport parking lot.
It also was tagged upon its capture, he said.
This bear is probably a cub that likely weighs 60 to 70 pounds, he said.
“(It’s) moving on its own, but hasn’t been on its own for very long,” Ludwig said.
The bear does not appear to be aggressive and has had no interactions with humans or animals, Moore said. Residents in the areas of the sightings are urged to take precautions with small animals and children.
Anyone who sees the bear is asked to not approach it and to call 911.