VANDERBURGH COUNTY, Ind. — Indiana Department of Natural Resources biologists have confirmed a black bear sighting that occurred in southwest Indiana before sunrise Sunday.
DNR says biologists confirmed the bear from photos taken by a landowner in northeast Vanderburgh County. The closest town to the area where the photos were taken is Elberfeld in Warrick County.
“This is Indiana’s fourth confirmed black bear,” said Brad Westrich, a DNR mammalogist. “With expanding bear populations in neighboring states, this is expected.
“Human-bear conflicts can be avoided if you remove or secure potential food sources from your yard. Bears can smell food from more than a mile away.”
DNR added that black bears are rarely aggressive toward humans, and most problems between people and bears arise when bears associate food sources with humans and lose their fear of people.
The department released the following bear-related safety tips:
If you see a black bear:
- Do not feed it.
- Observe it from a distance.
- Do not climb a tree.
- Advertise your presence by shouting and waving your arms and backing slowly away.
- Report bear sightings to the Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife at https://www.in.gov/dnr/fish-and-wildlife/wildlife-resources/animals/report-a-mammal/
Reducing or eliminating the potential for bear-human conflicts:
- Remove bird feeders and bird food if a bear is reported in your area.
- Clean and store away grills after use.
- Eliminate food attractants by placing garbage cans inside a garage or shed.
- Pick ripe fruits and vegetable as soon as possible or place an electric fence around them to ensure bears cannot reach them.
- Consolidate beehives you may have and place an electric fence around them.
- Don’t leave pet food outside overnight.
- Don’t add meat or sweets to a compost pile.
- Don’t climb a tree if you encounter a bear; wait in a vehicle or building for the bear to leave the area.
Click here for more information on black bears.