Though dozens of people have sent in tips, a black bear thought to be in the Issaquah area continues to evade capture by wildlife officials hoping to find the portly animal.

One credible tip suggests the black bear may be on the move — the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife received a report of a collared black bear south of the Squak Mountain area, near Hobart. The wildlife department has received more than 50 tips from the public in recent weeks, spokesperson Chase Gunnell said in an email.

Have you seen the Eastside’s very big bear? Finding him takes on new urgency

Searching for this black bear, which has avoided capture on the Eastside for more than two years, has taken on greater urgency because the bear is “unnaturally large” and wildlife officials are worried about a collar he’s wearing that has become too tight.

Wildlife specialists deployed a culvert trap near where the bear was spotted but haven’t received any additional reports of sightings or photos. Workers previously deployed four culvert traps last month, which did capture one bear later released near Snoqualmie Pass, but not the collared bear.

WDFW experts haven’t decided what will happen to the bear when, or if, he’s captured. They’ll assess his age, sex and weight, and if there’s any injury or infection from the collar. That GPS collar has a cotton spacer that should have made the collar fall off, but it hasn’t and for unknown reasons the GPS stopped working, Gunnell said.


They’ll also have to factor in the bear’s history of having “a little too much comfort around human residences,” getting into trash left out in residential areas.

“This can be unfortunate as it’s not the bear’s fault that garbage or bird feeders were left out and served as attractants; it’s the responsibility of people in bear country — which is most of Washington state — to secure items that may attract bears or other wildlife,” Gunnell said in an email.

Anyone who spots the collared black bear near Squak or Cougar mountains should report it to WDFW at 360-902-2936 or