‘Small bear cub’ sighting in West Seattle

From the scanner: Someone called 911 to report a “small bear cub” seen near 35th SW/SW Trenton. The dispatcher told officers it would be reported to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Checking our archives, we had a bear-sighting report five years ago, in the Beach Drive greenbelt vicinity.

53 Replies to "'Small bear cub' sighting in West Seattle"

  • Smokey December 30, 2020 (12:07 am)

    Raccoon without a tail perhaps?

    • sbone December 30, 2020 (6:23 am)

      chow chow?

      • CC December 30, 2020 (2:06 pm)

        My partner was walking this guy on 35th yesterday, and people are always accusing him of being a bear, but alas they were further north.

        • doe a deer December 30, 2020 (3:31 pm)

          Omg beary bear!

    • MARIANNE December 30, 2020 (8:33 am)

      I think you  might be spot on!

    • MSW December 30, 2020 (7:46 pm)

      There was a  bear a few years, maybe longer, that crossed from the peninsula to vashon des Moines I5 Kent valley to Covington before it was caught.

  • AWolf December 30, 2020 (3:05 am)

    Sad.  Fish & Wildlife will probably just shoot it.  They are absolutely the last people you want showing up if you’re a wild animal.

    • momosmom December 30, 2020 (8:38 am)

      I’m sure Fish and Wildlife will not “just shoot the bear” I’m almost positive they will try and trap humanly and relocate if it is old enough to be on its own. The only reason they would kill is if it attacked a person or was hurt itself.

    • Colby December 30, 2020 (9:02 am)

      Not true with bears. They normally trap and release. Urban Phantom for example was released back into the Cascades after a two-week bear hunt. 

  • uncle loco December 30, 2020 (5:02 am)

    Wouldn’t bears be hibernating this time of year?

    • Herongrrrl December 30, 2020 (8:02 am)

      Not locally, no, it doesn’t get cold enough here. But it is definitely the wrong time of year for a “small” bear cub to be around anyplace.

  • Lola December 30, 2020 (7:50 am)

    How would a bear get to WS?  Wow.  Curious to see if it really is a bear or just a big ole coon?

    • High Point December 30, 2020 (8:27 am)

      A stow away after a day in the mountains? It’s not uncommon for backpackers to bring back small mammals unknowingly, but a bear would seem a bit of a stretch. I’m curious to hear the whole story. Was it found last night because of all our garbage cans being full? 

      • Katherine Bellows December 30, 2020 (11:11 am)

        This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s very uncommon for backpackers to “accidentally” being a bear back with them. You don’t know what you are talking about. 

        • John December 30, 2020 (12:13 pm)

          I guess the humor in the remark escaped you.


        • doe a deer December 30, 2020 (3:36 pm)

          If that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard, lucky you!

    • John December 30, 2020 (8:46 am)

      I mean they can swim and there are bears on Vashon Island

      • Stickerbush December 30, 2020 (1:55 pm)

        It’s been many years since there was a bear on Vashon. 

    • markinthedark December 30, 2020 (10:14 am)

      A long swim across Puget Sound is not unprecedented. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/swim-the-sound-in-fur-coat-bears-behavior-is-a-bit-fishy/

      • Pelicans December 30, 2020 (7:09 pm)

        I was on watch that day at CG Vessel Traffic Service Puget Sound when we got the call from the man at Pt. Robinson Lighthouse. The bear didn’t check in with us and was not monitoring channel 14 on the radio during his transit, so I notified a southbound ship approaching the point to be on the lookout. The ship’s pilot had a good chuckle, but didn’t see him. If I remember correctly, he was last seen near Auburn.

    • StandUp December 30, 2020 (3:38 pm)

      I think buses, emergency vehicles, those with proper credentials, and small bears can use the lower bridge anytime.

      • ACG December 30, 2020 (6:59 pm)

        LOL!  Good one, StandUp!

  • Carson December 30, 2020 (8:15 am)

    Maybe it was a polar bear just getting ready for Fridays swim?

  • Joan December 30, 2020 (8:18 am)

    I’m betting it was one of the above, and not a small bear cub! I don’t see how a “small” cub could even survive on its own.

  • John December 30, 2020 (8:20 am)

    My guess is that the bear wanted to get in to West Seattle before the fines start on the low level bridge.

  • Steph December 30, 2020 (8:53 am)

    So BEARS are allowed on the bridge??!??!! 

    • John December 30, 2020 (12:08 pm)

      Of course.

      Haven’t you seen a “bear right” sign before?

      • heartless December 30, 2020 (3:40 pm)

        Nice… (tried and failed to come up with an ursign pun myself)

  • AJ December 30, 2020 (10:10 am)

    I wonder if it was a big fluffy dog, like a Newfoundland.

  • ttt December 30, 2020 (10:54 am)

    Unlikely, as cubs are not born in the Fall. More likely a bobcat which can be furry this time of year, is about the same size as a cub and very muscular, with a bobbed tail.

  • Ned December 30, 2020 (11:13 am)

    I bet it came over with that elephant I saw at 38th and Cloverdale.

  • C December 30, 2020 (12:18 pm)


  • bloo December 30, 2020 (12:45 pm)

    Hope there are more sightings so we can figure out the mystery!  Black bears are born in mid January to early Feb., so there’s no way a bear born almost a year ago would still be small.  Has to be something else.

    • WSB December 30, 2020 (1:30 pm)

      Nothing further – neither officially nor anyone coming forward to say “Yeah, I saw that.” I’m asking Seattle Animal Shelter if they’ve dealt with any in-city bears recently.

  • Bradley December 30, 2020 (12:47 pm)

    Wasn’t it a year or two ago either a cougar or a mountain lion was videoed in Mercer Island?

  • Auntie December 30, 2020 (1:46 pm)

    Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Guess we’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.

    • heartless December 30, 2020 (7:22 pm)

      Turkeys and otters and bears, oh my!  Gotta love West Seattle.

  • Rick December 30, 2020 (2:47 pm)

    I have it on good authority that it was actually the WS turkey I’m her halloween costume.

  • Why not December 30, 2020 (3:04 pm)

    Why not? Afterall, its still 2020!

  • Yep! December 30, 2020 (3:08 pm)

    Why not? After all its still 2020!

  • Janet December 30, 2020 (4:08 pm)

    I bear could actually live in the greenbelt below my house un detected. There have been, raccoons, coyotes, possums, mountain beavers, many bunnies and a fox while I have lived here. Why not a bear? I love it!

  • Mary December 30, 2020 (5:28 pm)

    I’ve been wondering about the turkey. We haven’t had any reports in a while about our West Seattle turkey friend. ???

  • Wild rebirth December 30, 2020 (6:34 pm)

    I’m ok with them if they promise not to eat my plants

  • Westrain December 30, 2020 (8:21 pm)

    I’m off of 35th and Othello and we have a older racoon with no tail that to some could look like a bear cub I guess. Lol

    • Elle Nell December 30, 2020 (9:35 pm)

      We are close to 34th and Kenyon and have seen the tail-less raccoon who could very easily look similar to a baby bear… we had one years ago that had been injured and had no tail and a sad drag of his body. You would think you were in the twilight zone watching the poor creature. Happy New Bear 🌟

  • Aptly Hirsute December 31, 2020 (9:48 am)

    My last sighting of bears on our peninsula was in White Center at ‘The Lumberyard’ before the COVID shutdown.

  • Carla Cole December 31, 2020 (5:23 pm)

    My first time on westseattleblog. What an interesting and fun thread! Thanks, neighbors!

    • HappyOnAlki December 31, 2020 (8:59 pm)

      Welcome, Carla Cole! You picked a good one!

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