Bears spotted in Novato near park

A mother bear and two cubs were allegedly seen near Novato's Miwok Park on Sunday, according to police. 

Police have not found the bears, but said that the animals' scat was found near a playground on the San Miguel Way side of the park.

Police are urging visitors to use caution in the park, especially when entering areas with lots of trees and brush. The park is surrounded by residential neighborhoods.

"They are wild animals. Stay away from wild animals," said Sgt. Alan Bates of the Novato Police Department. "Give them the opportunity to enjoy themselves. There shouldn't be interactions."

Though no one seems to have snapped a photo of Sunday's bears, there was some video of the aftermath. Folks in the area were mostly excited with little concern.

"I've been talking to my clients, and they're all from Novato, and none of them can ever remember at all a bear coming here," said Randy Huber, a physical trainer at Miwok Park. "They just probably followed the creek and ended up in Miwok."

A Novato resident named Marian Husband has seen coyotes in the area, but never bears.

"I've never seen a bear here, and I've lived in this area since 2003," Husband said.


Young mountain lion found dead along San Jose's Santa Teresa Blvd., necropsy pending

A young mountain lion was found dead along Santa Teresa Boulevard in the South Bay last month, according to a conservation group. A necropsy is pending ,but the death highlights the importance of co-existing with wildlife.

"Last night was trash night, and usually, when there's bears, trash cans get knocked over," park neighbor Rick Leroux said. "I haven't heard of anybody's getting knocked over last night, which tells me they're staying out of the populated areas, if anything."

Animal experts advise that if you encounter a bear, it is better to back slowly away. Try not to run, which can provoke a bear to give chase.

"Mother bears, like mothers of all species, get very, very defensive if they feel their cubs are threatened," said Alison Hermance of

Though seeing bears is rare, they've walked these lands for thousands of years, and social media has given us more chances to share sightings.

"It may be that this is not that there are more wild animals, or that there are more bears, or that there are more coyotes," Hermance said. "It's just that we're seeing them more."