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Residents are warned to take precautions after a police helicopter spotted two bears near Wabash Avenue and Reservoir Road early Wednesday morning.

A Fontana Police helicopter was assisting Sheriff’s deputies in an unrelated call when they spotted the animals on a hillside about 100 yards east of Wabash Avenue.

Bears have occasionally been seen in wildlands around Redlands. There have been no reports of bear attacks in the area.

Wildlife officials warn residents to exercise caution when traveling in areas frequented by bears or where bears have been spotted. If you are hiking, avoid surprising bears. Talk loudly or make noise and, if possible, travel in groups.

Additional tips:

  • Keep in mind that bears tend to be more active at dawn and dusk so plan your hikes accordingly.
  • Stay on marked trails and obey the regulations of the area you're hiking in.
  • Keep an eye out for tracks, scat, digs, and trees that bears have rubbed.
  • Stay on marked trails and keep dogs on a leash.

If You Encounter a Bear…

  • Remain calm and avoid sudden movements.
  • Give the bear plenty of room, allowing it to continue its activities undisturbed. If it changes its behavior, you're too close so back away.
  • If you see a bear but the bear doesn't see you, detour quickly and quietly.
  • If a bear spots you, try to get its attention while it is still farther away. You want it to know you're human so talk in a normal voice and waive your arms.
  • Remember that a standing bear is not always a sign of aggression. Many times, bears will stand to get a better view.
  • Throw something onto the ground (like your camera) if the bear pursues you, as it may be distracted by this and allow you to escape.
  • Never feed or throw food to a bear.

If a Bear Charges…

  • Remember that many bears charge as a bluff. They may run, then veer off or stop abruptly. Stand your ground until the bear stops, then slowly back away.
  • Never run from a bear! They will chase you and bears can run faster than 30 mph.
  • Don't run towards or climb a tree. Black bears can climb trees, and many bear will be provoked to chase you if they see you climbing.
  • If you have pepper spray, be sure that you have trained with it before using it during an attack.

If a Bear Attacks…

  • Be loud, wave your arms, and stand your ground.
  • Fight back! Be aggressive and use any object you have.
  • Only if you are sure the bear attacking is a mother who is protecting its cubs, play dead.
  • If you have pepper spray, use it. Begin spraying when it's within 40 feet so it runs into the fog. Aim for the face.

Anyone who spots a bear or other wildlife is asked to contact Redlands Animal Control at (909) 798-7644 or Redlands Police Dispatch at (909) 798-7681.

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