A black bear that has been spotted in Harrison County over the past few days is on the move — this time to the north in Washington County.
Sheriff Roger Newlon said this morning he and Pekin Town Marshall Jeff Thomas had been responding to four calls about seeing a Black Bear in southern Washington County.
Newlon warned the public not to approach the bear.
“He’s been getting in trash cans and doing things bears do,” said Newlon, from his cell phone near Palmyra Lake Road.
The bear has since been tracked to the Big Springs area, which is about 7 miles north of Palmyra Lake Road.
The bear was first spotted in Kentucky, then has crossed the river into Harrison County. He was seen behind the Wal-Mart in Corydon earlier this week and at a forest.
Palmyra Lake Road is about 3 miles north of Palmyra, Indiana which is at the northern tip of Harrison County.
“We’re seeing tracks in the dew grass that indicate he’s moving north,” said Newlon. “If anyone see’s it, please call the Sheriff’s Department at 812.883.2834 and let us know. The DNR is tracking it.”
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources said this bear is believed to be the same one that was spotted in Hardin Co., Ky. a few weeks ago and in Harrison County, Indiana just this week.
Black bears are shy by nature and tend to avoid human contact. Attacks are rare.
The following are some tips from the Indiana DNR on bear awareness:
– Don’t intentionally feed bears. If a bear becomes accustomed to finding food near your home, it may become a “problem” bear.
– Eliminate food attractants by placing garbage cans inside a garage or shed.
– Clean and store grills away after use.
– Don’t leave pet food outside overnight.
– Remove bird feeders and bird food from late March through November.
– Don’t add meat or sweets to a compost pile.
– If encountering a bear, don’t run. Shout, wave your arms and back away slowly.
– Collect and remove low-hanging or fallen fruit from fruit trees.
– Eliminate meat, cooking oil, fish or fruit odors from near your home. This includes fish-meal fertilizers.
– Collect and remove any ripened vegetables from your garden.
This is the second bear spotted in Indiana in 2016 with the first being spotted in Northern Indiana back in April.
The DNR is encouraging citizens to report bear sightings to [email protected] or by calling (812) 334-1137 during regular business hours.
Photos or videos can be sent to the same email address. The maximum file size is 15 MB.
DNR biologists will monitor the bear to determine whether to allow it to remain where it is or trap it and relocate it to a more appropriate area. That will be based on whether the bear shows nuisance behavior and continues to come into close contact with humans.
The DNR has a procedure in place should the bear become a nuisance, according to Josh Griffin of the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.