Two bear sightings, one near Marsh Street and a second near Spring and Flora streets, occurred late on Oct. 27 and the early morning hours Oct. 28, according to a press release by the San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD).
The first sighting was at 11 p.m. on Oct. 27 and the second was at 6 a.m. Lieutenant Steve Tolley said the police department assumes the same 200 to 250 pound black bear was spotted twice.
Both times the bear appeared to be just “looking for food,” Tolley said.
After the first sighting, officers scared the bear back to a rural area along the creek northeast of downtown. The bear was then spotted near residences.
Officers were put in charge of the bear because rangers don’t typically work at night, Tolley said. However, the Department of Fish and Game is ultimately responsible for the bear.
Tolley said bear sightings don’t happen often, but they are known to come into town once every few years.
Mathematics junior Kristin Symer lives around the area where the bear was spotted in.
“I think it’s unusual for a bear to want to be around a lot of humans, but it isn’t very scary,” Symer said.
Symer said she has always camped and been in rural areas known to host bear populations, so she wasn’t scared when she first heard about a hungry bear near Scolari’s Food and Drug Co. on Johnson Avenue.
“I expect we will always see the occasional bear since we live by the mountains,” Symer said.