Officials say infamous black bear now in Sellersburg
Officials are telling people to remove bird feeders, clean their grills, keep garbage cans in the garage and do not leave pet food outside. Those smells can often attract the wild animal.
SELLERSBURG, Ind. (WDRB) – He's stocky, about 300 pounds and not looking for trouble -- just his next meal.
Officials say that infamous black bear has now made his way to Sellersburg, Ind. The majority of the population there is hoping to get a glimpse of him.
“Oh yeah, I do. I’m an outdoors man anyways, so I'm all about it,” Michael Hanson said.
“Um yeah, from afar, I don't want to see it close up,” Angie Cecil said.
The word on the streets of Sellersburg is that the bear has arrived. The Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife is warning residents to beware.
“Now if I'd seen it, I think I would freak out,” Cecil said.
“I mean, you’re always going to be scared. It's a big old bear,” Hanson said.
The first black bear sighting happened in Hardin County, Ky. Wildlife officials believe that same young male bear crossed the Ohio River to Harrison County, Ind., then traveled to Washington County and is now in Clark County.
A different black bear has also been spotted hanging around Bernheim Forest in Bullitt County, Ky.
Matt Haub just recently saw the traveling bear at Deam Lake.
“Started hearing a rhythmic slosh in the water. Sounded like something walking toward me. I didn't think anything of it, because you hear lots of weird sounds down at the lake,” Haub said.
A few seconds later, he looked over his shoulder and saw the bear walking toward him from 30 feet away.
“I'd say he's every bit of 300 pounds. I wouldn't have wanted to tangle with him, that's for sure,” he said.
Officials are telling people to remove bird feeders, clean their grills, keep garbage cans in the garage, and do not leave pet food outside. Those smells can often attract the wild animal.
“If you don't remove the attractants, and the bear comes up and finds food in your yard, he'll come back and expect to find food in your yard again," said Taylor Rasmussen, Indiana DNR Mammalogist. "And when he doesn't, it could potentially enter the house."
While it's likely the majority of the southern Indiana population will never see the bear, it's been a nice distraction for some.
“It got someone off politics for a little bit,” Cecil said. “It's interesting to see everybody on Facebook every day posting something different.”
Wildlife officials say they receive three to four calls and emails every day related to the bear.
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