Bear Visiting McKinleyville Neighborhood Almost Nightly

Bear in McKinleyville
Bear in McKinleyville

In McKinleyville, a local property owner says that someone has the garbage route memorized, and it’s not the garbage man.

“My theory is that this one bear mapped out garbage nights and so he hits Little Pond when it’s their garbage night and heads over to the high school area the next night, and then he’s back here,” says McKinleyville homeowner Jessica Grant. “As far as we know from our video footage nightly, the bear comes through every comes through just about every night,” she continues, “I think it lives behind our house in the yard there and passes through to get to other people’s garbage because ours is now locked up.”

It appears to be the same bear who repeatedly visited Jessica’s home last summer.

Though this year, the bear is noticeably larger.

“Last season, he completely shredded our gate. I replaced it. The next night, he took down the whole gate and the post that was holding up. We have kind of a jimmy rigged fence right now,” says Grant, “and he took down a section of that to get to our garbage can the other night. So we just put that back up. Yeah, he’s mildly destructive.”

I asked Jessica if she had talked to fish and wildlife about it, and she said she had called them last year.

“They sent me information in an email about things to deter,” she says of the Fish and Wildlife’s tips, “Basically, like you can put a radio on next to your garbage cans to try to deter it. Ammonia is supposed to help deter it. That doesn’t seem to work for us this time.  and otherwise just being vigilant. And when we hear him out there going to the window and hollering and clapping and just trying to scare them off.”

I then asked Jessica if she is scared of the bear. “Oh, I’m not,” she says unwaveringly, “I’m a little concerned. I’m not afraid of the bear, but I am concerned because he’s coming out at like 9:00 at night, which is the time that we would be either leaving or coming home from comedy shows at Savage Henry Comedy Club.  The bear doesn’t seem aggressive, but it also doesn’t seem to really mind people.”

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife advises people to never run from or approach a bear.