If you live in Indiana, a black bear is not something you expect to see. The second one in 140 years, another black bear is doing his best Hoosier impression.
Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! We are sure these Indiana residents are double taking and trying to believe what their eyes are seeing. Bear sightings in Indiana are very unusual. So unusual that this is the second confirmed sighting in the last 140 years.
According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, a black bear was spotted in Harrison County in southern Indiana. As you may have seen, the bear has gained some popularity and videos and pictures have been surfacing on the social media.
The first reported sighting of the bear was by a homeowner who called in saying a bear was rummaging through her trash. As you could imagine, the authorities were shocked to hear such a claim. When they showed up, the bear was nowhere to be found.
The second reported sighting was near State Road 62 as the bear was crossing the road. At around 200-300 pounds, the beautiful creature is guessed to have swam the Ohio River from Kentucky, according to the DNR.
Conservation officers are letting the people of Indiana know that black bears rarely attack and are generally shy by nature. If you happen to see a bear though, they ask you to report to them so they can investigate and collect data.
“It’s best if people just leave the bear alone and let it be a part of the natural environment,” said Josh Griffin of the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.
“It is possible black bears may re-establish populations in the southern half of our state,” said Sam Whiteleather of the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “Education efforts on how to deal with nuisance black bears would be conducted to help ensure black bears are enjoyed from a distance.”
DNR encourages people to report bear sightings to dfwinput@dnr.IN.gov or by calling (812) 334-1137 during regular business hours.
How exciting. It is not out the realm of possibility that some day in the future, you may be buying a bear tag in Southern Indiana.