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State fish and wildlife officials continue to search for bear in Manchester
Department of fish and wildlife officers received several phone calls today, from Manchester residents, saying that they saw a black bear swimming towards Bainbridge Island.
The bear turned around and swam back to Port Orchard, though, said Sgt. Ted Jackson, with the department of fish and wildlife.Brian Horch, of Manchester, said he saw the bear while scuba diving.
“We saw what we thought was a seal,” he said. “Then we thought, seals don’t have (large) ears.”
So he and his scuba diving partner watched it.
“There was a black bear, just doing fine, headed for Bainbridge Island,” said Horch. “He got out in the ferry line, and it looked like he may have changed his mind and come back to Port Orchard.”
It could have swum across if it had wanted to, said Jackson. “It was a pretty easy tide.”
Sightings became less frequent toward the end of the day.
“We haven’t had any sightings since 1 p.m. today,” said Jackson. Department of Fish and Wildlife officers put a bear trap, baited with doughnuts doused in syrup, in a yard that the bear has gone through several times, today.
If the bear continues north, it may not need to be relocated, but if it stays near people, then Department of Fish and Wildlife officers plan to move it.
“The plan is to capture the animal and locate it away from the urban area,” said Darren Friedel, a public information officer for the department of fish and wildlife, "in more bear friendly habitat" near the Olympic Peninsula.