A young black bear continues to elude state wildlife agents, Shoreline and Seattle police, television helicopters buzzing overhead, busy traffic and the curious, who came to Twin Ponds Park this afternoon to watch the search.

A young black bear continues to elude state wildlife agents, Shoreline and Seattle police, television helicopters buzzing overhead, busy traffic and the curious, who came to Twin Ponds Park this afternoon to watch the search.

The bear, first spotted in Magnolia and then Ballard overnight, was seen about 2 p.m. near North 150th Street and Corliss Avenue North in Shoreline. Police closed off nearby Twin Ponds Park, presuming the bear might have wandered there.

But at 3:30 p.m., another report came in placing the bear south, near North 145th Street and Bagley Avenue North. It hasn’t been seen since.

Though police and wildlife agents have glimpsed the bear at different points during their search, the bear dodged his would-be captors. “It was running down the roads, down through backyards,” said Department of Fish and Wildlife officer Bruce Richards who tracked the bear overnight. “All of a sudden it would go over a fence.”

Richards was using one of the state’s Karelian bear dogs, a type of dog trained to track bears, to try to find the animal. “The dog was on it several times,” he said.

Fish and Wildlife Captain Bill Hebner told KIRO-TV that he thinks the bear is the same one that was sighted in Everett last week.

Albert Lee, a Magnolia resident, came face-to-face with the animal.

“A black bear jumped out over the edge of the flowers here and just lumped along and headed straight through to my neighbor’s house,” said Lee. He said he’s never seen anything like it.

“My first impression was that’s a mighty big black dog, I wonder what neighbor’s dog (it is) … then it clicked in — look at the butt on that thing. That is a bear,” Lee said. “Probably two, 250 pounds. Butt, body, head. Pretty straight forward. I saw enough of it to know that it was clearly not a dog.”

Richards said earlier today that the bear has likely found a place to “hunker down until this evening,” and there’s little wildlife officers can do until he is spotted again, when wildlife officers will try to trap or tranquilize him.

He said the bear is not a danger to people, so long as it is not trapped into a corner. His advice: “Don’t overreact, just let us know where you see him.” Residents can call 911, or the state wildlife emergency/incident hotline at 800-477-6224.

If a bear walks toward you, identify yourself as a human by standing up, waving your hands above your head, and talking to the bear in a low voice.

Richards speculated that the bear either swam across Puget Sound to get to Seattle, or followed the railroad tracks into the city.

Seattle police received the first report of the bear after midnight Sunday in Magnolia, when a resident reported a bear wandering around their yard in the 5600 block of 39th Avenue West.

Brandon Ebel, who lives in the Lawton Wood neighborhood north of Discovery Park, said he thought he heard a raccoon after 10 p.m. Sunday, so he went outside to shoo it away.

Instead, he found “a big bear” going through his trash. Ebel said the bear also tried to get inside a car belonging to his in-laws.

Ebel called police and state wildlife agents.

Here’s a link to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Web page on black bears: http://www.wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/living/bears.htm

Portions of this report came from KING5.com