'We expect bears to be coming into towns'
EUGENE, Ore. - Bears have attacked 7 people in the United States since last Thursday, the latest a 12-year-old girl jogging in northern Michigan.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says bear attacks are uncommon, but that the Beaver State is black bear country.
Would you know what to do if you came face to face with a bear?
"If I saw a bear, I would stop, back away slowly where I could still see them until I didn't see them anymore and run," hiker Christine Burkey said Monday.
ODFW said Burkey has the right idea - at first. Back away slowly, but do not run.
"You want to let the bear know you're there and do so very calmly," said Chris Yee with ODFW. "You don't want to look a bear in the eyes. That's considered a challenge. Just let the bear know you're there and back out of the area."
ODFW has been watching for bear problems this year as the animals seek out new food sources in a record-dry year.
"We've been noticing crops have failed this year," Yee said, "so we expect bears to be coming into towns, residences, looking for fruit trees and berry bushes."