The bears just wanted to play.
A mother and cub were spotted Wednesday near a school and park on Kent’s East Side, prompting police to close Clark Lake Park until wildlife officials find the bears.
The first sighting occurred near Martin Sortun Elementary School, 12711 SE 248th St., about the same time children dismissed for the day.
Shortly afterward, they were seen frolicking two miles away at the park.
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City officials put up a warning sign asking visitors to stay out of the park. A helicopter briefly joined in the search but didn’t see the bears, KIRO reported.
This is the third bear encounter in King and Pierce counties in the last two weeks.
On Monday, a 250-pound black bear moseyed through a busy Lakewood neighborhood for several hours before wildlife officials were able to tranquilize him and release back into the wild, far from the city.
Last week, a black bear stayed overnight in a Renton tree and drew quite a crowd. Residents came to watch it climb higher into the tree despite wildlife officers’ attempts to get it down by shooting bean bags at it, and children at a nearby school were kept inside for recess.
This is the time of year bears are most actively searching for food and sometimes they get drawn into populated areas, according to the state Department of Fish & Wildlife.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653