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Bear, cub frequenting downtown Grass Valley

Bear sightings are not that unusual in unincorporated Nevada County. But multiple reports have come in the last two weeks of a bear, often accompanied by a cub, wandering through downtown Grass Valley.

The spate of calls began at around 10 a.m. Oct. 12, with multiple people calling Grass Valley Police to report the duo in the area of Harris and Eureka streets.

Officers responded and searched for at least a half-hour without spotting the elusive ursines, said Capt. Rex Marks.



Another bruin spotting was called in just before 1 a.m. the next day in the 800 block of East Main Street.

U.S. Fish & Game Warden Jerry Karnow responded to that call. But although he spotted bear scat and heard a number of dogs barking, possibly in response to the bear, he did not see the bear itself, he said.




The bear and cub reportedly were spotted several times Friday evening and Sunday morning.

A caller reported seeing the pair at about 8:15 p.m. Friday, near Washington and Eureka streets, heading downtown, Marks said.

A law enforcement officer spotted the bears later that night near North Auburn and Chester streets, Karnow said. That report could not be confirmed.

At least one caller also saw the bears just after 6:30 a.m. Sunday in front of the Elks Lodge at Richardson and Church streets.

But once again, they slipped away before officers arrived.

Karnow said he suspected bear sightings are about to become less common, as more food sources open up at higher elevations.

Bears in this region rarely hibernate because they can get food and water year-round, he said.

“There were no berries at the higher elevations (earlier this fall), so the bears had moved down this way,” Karnow said. “But there are more acorns now — they’re dropping — and a lot of water. We should have a lot fewer bear sightings. People still need to be vigilant and not be lazy with trash,” Karnow cautioned. “They’ll be attracted to anything.”

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4229.


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