Teacup poodle chases bear up tree in Kirkland man's backyard, dozen sightings of bear in Rose Hill
By CARRIE RODRIGUEZ
Kirkland Reporter Editor
May 18, 2011 · Updated 12:25 PM
A hunter in his spare time, Rose Hill resident Robert Carroll has encountered many bears.
But certainly never in his own backyard.
At approximately 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Carroll's daughter, 21, was sitting on the porch when she heard rustling noises from the corner of the yard at Carroll's home in the 10700 block of 128th Avenue Northeast in the Rose Hill neighborhood. When an approximately 200-pound black bear approached her within 15 feet, she yelled, "There's a bear in the backyard!"
Carroll ran outside and thought his daughter could be mistaking the bear for a dog. But sure enough, it was a bear.
Carroll wasn't the only one to get a backyard visit by the young black bear.
There were about a dozen sightings of the bear heading north along the Redmond-Kirkland border Tuesday morning, according to Sgt. Kim Chandler, an agent with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
"It's an unusual spot to see a bear," Chandler said. "He probably came from the east out of the Redmond Watershed. ... He is coming out of hibernation and he is hungry. So if he smells something he likes, he will stop."
Carroll watched as his Teacup Poodle, Shmoopy, ran straight for the bear and chased it up a tree.
"The bear was really startled - I was not too worried about the dog at the time," recalled Carroll, a Re/Max real estate agent. "I was only thinking, bear in yard! Rose Hill? I have seen coyotes and deer in this neighborhood, but not in a million years did I ever think seeing a bear in this neighborhood was possible."
Chandler, who has worked 36 years for the Department of Fish and Wildlife, said it was the first time he has heard of a bear sighting in the Rose Hill area.
Caroll continued to clap his hands and the bear leaped from the tree over the fence and into his neighbor's yard.
Earlier in the morning, the bear was spotted further south in Redmond near Rose Hill Junior High.
At around 6 a.m., Redmond resident Alicia Ames woke up to her German Shepherds barking.
The dogs ran to the kitchen sliding door and were barking hysterically, according to Ames, who lives within a mile of Rose Hill Junior High. She looked out and saw the same black bear in her backyard, which butts up against an open green space next to a Puget Sound Energy easement.
"He wasn't a cub, he didn't look fully grown, but he was at least twice the size of the dogs," said Ames.
She said the bear, which looked like it was sniffing something, saw the dogs and reared up on its hind legs. The bear climbed Ames' 7-foot chain link fence and left.
Ames, who has lived in the area for more than 12 years, said this is the first time she has seen any signs of a bear.
"It was nerve racking, it's one thing to see them on the other side of the fence, but he was in my backyard," said Ames. "It was a bit shocking this morning. We don't have anything in our backyard that is bear attractive, I don't know what was enticing it to our yard."
Because of her home's proximity to Rose Hill Junior High, Ames called 911. After calling 911, she walked around to nearby neighbors to warn them of a possible bear in the area.
Chandler said he got about 10 calls from Redmond and Kirkland residents who spotted the bear. Chandler said agents did not attempt to track down the bear as they felt it may cause more harm than good.
"We haven't tried to track him," Chandler said. "When they are moving like that and then you start to chase them, they could get hit by a car."
Chandler said the bear has probably made it back to a less populated area because bears, in general, are scared off by loud noises and commotion, such as barking dogs and vehicle traffic.
"Hopefully, we won't hear more about him," Chandler said.
Redmond Reporter Editor Bill Christianson contributed to this report.Contact Kirkland Reporter Editor Carrie Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-425-822-9166 (ext 5050).